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Columbia Fire Department crew trains after increase in number of high-rise buildings

With the increase in the number of high-rise buildings in downtown Columbia, the Columbia Fire Department conducted a fire simulation training Thursday.

The Columbia Fire Department told ABC 17 News that each firefighter spend up to 300 hours of training for fires in high-rise buildings.

Since they require a whole different approach Assistant Fire Chief Brad Frazier said training is important.

“If we come away from this training and find that we need to tweak some things differently, (we will) train some more, we’ll do that,” he said.

Frazier also said it’s important that they understand how each high-rise building is built.

“We make it a point to be very familiar with structures like that — how they are constructed, any unique challenges that they pose and certainly what they are made of. (It) plays a big part.”

ABC 17 News visited one of the high-rise buildings in downtown Columbia that fits the fire code definition of high-rise. Officials said the Tiger Hotel sits more than 75 feet above street level.

Experts also said firemen will carry up to 100 pounds of equipment for fires in high-rise buildings, and they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready.

Firefighter Alex Isom said, “We plan for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best outcome.”

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