North Texas Firefighters Train for Natural Disasters

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Firefighters are in Lewisville for training on how to lead large teams during major natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

    Firefighters from across North Texas are in Lewisville for training on natural disaster response.

    The training teaches the firefighters how to lead large teams during major natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

    "It does become fairly complex when you're moving hundreds of firefighters and large pieces of equipment into an area for an incident," Lewisville Fire Capt. Brandon Woodward said. "It takes a lot of coordination, a lot of energy and a lot of cooperation."

    The weeklong session brings together commanders from departments would work together on major incidents under the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.

    Woodward said the Texas Forest System has a very intricate set of instructions to deal with such incidents because of past responses that ended badly, including in officer deaths.

    Training on the plan keeps the chaos down in these often chaotic situations, he said.

    "There's a lot of technical knowledge," he said. "There's a body of knowledge that these folks need beyond the expertise that they already have in responding to incidents."

    Several firefighters the incidents force them to respond in unfamiliar terrain and outside of the normal structure fires they deal with daily.

    "A lot of things change that, in structure-side, we're just not trained for," Coppell Fire Capt. Mike Cody said.

    The Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System has responded in the past to several natural disasters, including tornadoes, throughout North Texas this year. Woodward said it hopes to keep expanding so it can also help neighboring states in the future.