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CAL FIRE BEU does extended annual attacks, simulates real-life fire scenarios for training

Salinas, Calif. (KION) - Tonight we take you behind the scenes on how CAL FIRE responds to incidents.
CAL FIRE did their annual extended attack drill where they took all of their trainees and simulated a real-life fire.

Over 200 fire personnel with CALFIRE gathered at the Monterey headquarters to participate in a simulated incident.

"Not only does it help the PIOs train for this emergency or simulated emergency, but we have so many personnel here. Currently, we have, a command center, the folks in the command center, and this gives them repetitions," said Jimmy Harris, Fire Captain.

This is for trainees and people who have been with CALFIRE and are stepping into new positions, like Jimmy Harris.

"The reason I decided to take that aspect on or that role on was to, you know, be an outlet for the public to be able to give factual information, to serve the public in case of any big emergency. I'm able to give information out and help the public," said Harris.

Margi Campbell participated in this event as a trainee last year.

"It was my first drill and just a little nerve-wracking not knowing what's going to happen or where it's going to be, which is also pretty cool because that's how real life is," said Margi Campbell, Communications Operator for CAL FIRE.

She says she incorporates what she learned in that drill in her day-to-day work as a communications operator. She assigns resources like engines and aircrafts to fires.

"The skills that I've learned were, like I said, just knowing what they're going to ask or being prepared. You have to communicate with your coworkers, with your duty captains, with your chiefs, and then also, just being able to pace yourself because it's it gets pretty chaotic," said Campbell.

This annual extended attack drill started nine years ago. John Bryne took part in creating this drill and says every year he finds room for improvement.

"California has seen historical fires that we haven't seen in years where we need to have offense, we need to be ready. We need to exercise all the different processes, procedures and equipment that we have," said John Bryne, Assistant Chief.

CAL FIRE units from Kern County, San Luis Obispo and other agencies like PG&E and the Monterey County Sheriff's office also participated in this drill.

CAL FIRE wants to thank the people who let them have access to their property for this drill.

KION also aired a special report on the importance of firefighter protection gear and its connection to cancer-causing PFAs. Read the full report here.

Article Topic Follows: Local News
fire training
monterey county

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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