MERRILL - This weekend Northcentral Technical College hosted its fourth annual Fire and EMS University for firefighters across Wisconsin.
It provides training on firefighting and EMS techniques at the Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill.
In a simulation training exercise, firefighters have their hoods covering their face so they couldn't see anything when they entered a basement. They had to feel a fire hose and use teamwork to get around and save a dummy.
Firefighters from all over Wisconsin can come to the all-day event. They came to refresh their skills, teach and learn new techniques.
"We put out some classes that are very interesting and not run every day and if it applies to their department they'll send people," said Dean of the Public Safety Division of Northcentral Technical College Doug Jennings.
The school keeps adding other training tools as well. Just this year they added more training features, such as a simulator that allows law enforcement to practice driving trucks, squad cars and EMS vehicles.
On Saturday the students also trained with the aerial ladder.
"We are the only fire department in Lincoln County with an aerial ladder," said Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. "And so most of our firefighters have to operate our aerial ladder. And so we felt this truck operation aerial ladder operations is a great class for them to come and see."
UST Fire Apparatus brought a new aerial ladder truck for the students to practice with, and teachers from southern Wisconsin and St. Louis, Mo., also came to help coach.
Firefighters say they want to constantly re-educate themselves.
"It's great to get the extra practice," said Dean Johnson from the Town of Wausau Fire Department.
Northcentral Technical College also offers semester schedule curricula for law enforcement and fire science.