SOUTHPORT, Fla. — It’s like grad school for the fire academy, as Panama City Beach Fire Rescue’s newest firefighters take on ‘Rookie School.’
“[It’s] very intense,” said Katie Odom, a new firefighter for PCBFR. “You’ve got a lot of noise going on.”
“We’ve been training and learning the skills to do the job better,” said Andrew Jordan, another new firefighter.
They spent the week sharpening those skills to perform better and be more prepared for the real deal.
“We never know what we’re going to run into any given day,” said Jacob Gorman, a captain with PCBFR. “We want to make sure everybody is fully operational for any situation they may run into.”
The firefighters have been practicing skills all week like forcible entry, search and rescue and survival techniques; on Friday, they put their skills to the test in a burning building simulation.
“This is like SuperBowl Sunday to them,” said Gorman. “They’re just ready to get in, do the game as hard as they can and make sure they’re doing everything effectively and efficiently.”
“I have learned more this week than I have in quite some time,” said Jordan.
It’s all to make sure they’re as ready as possible when it comes time for dangerous real-life scenarios.
“You’re just learning new techniques, putting it together, and just really making a strong firefighter,” said Odom. “It’s really helped me 100 percent.”