Ardmore Fire Department trains for more than firefighting

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ARDMORE, OK - Friday afternoon Ardmore firefighters practice putting out a blaze.

On average these first responders fight 45 structure fires a year and go out on 2,000 medical calls, which shows they have to learn more than ever before.

"Training is a big part of our daily activities and routine," says shift commander Scott Richards. "We have a certain number of hours of training that we have to get in every month."

Some of that includes learning to free people from wrecked vehicles when every passing second could mean life or death.

The whole process of vehicle extrication is only supposed to take about 15 minutes. That way people that are really badly injured get to the hospital within one hour.

Their skill set continues to expand while they blindly navigate a maze meant to simulate a smoke-filled structure plus repelling down structures and so much more.

"Medical calls that we have to stay on top of and then apparatus operations, learning our streets and the geography of the city that we serve," said Richards.

The heroes who practice these skills everyday said repetition is key.

"It's very much true that it's muscle memory," said firefighter Jake Purton. "The more we can practice the better and more proficient we get at what we do."

So whatever the emergency, Ardmore firefighters said they're prepared and ready.