Firefighters from around the region came together this week to learn about the latest fire-fighting technology, as well as refresh their skills through a few different drills. The drills help the firefighters learn new techniques, as well as prepare them for real life scenarios, mentally and physically.  
When you're a rookie firefighter like Michael Damren, support from your squad is key. There's a mental aspect to the job. 

"Totally different environment really," said rookie Michael Damren. 

For some, conferences like this one are a refresher and for others it gives them an idea of what to expect when they have to go inside a burning house or deal with a car fire. 

"The reason we're cheering a lot of the guys on is because we do have a lot of younger guys, some of the guys that haven't experienced fire so they are nervous. They're getting in there and seeing stuff for the very first time," said fire fighter James Bronneke. 

Damren admits his blood pressure was a bit higher before doing the interior building drill. For the most part though, it turned out to be what he expected. 

"There's no light in there so it's pretty dark and pretty hot. But not too terrible," said Damren. 

Even those with experience are always learning.

"Some of the new interior approaches, interior tactic office of operations. Smothering the fire different ways than we're used to. Some of the techniques on the cars in the propane props those are more just refreshers than anything," said Bronneke. 

They could put the car fires out pretty quickly. 

"This definitely gives them very valuable experience so they would be able to approach live fire, because it is in a very controlled manner. So it's extremely valuable," said Tom Martinez. 

Getting to work with a variety of people from around the region is great opportunity as well. Fire fighting is a team effort. 

"These guys are doing a great job, along with our instructors. It's a great program," said Martinez. 

Which in return is doing a great service for our community.