Tampa Fire uses new technology for drill

Tampa Fire Rescue high-rise fire drill

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – It’s not often that firefighters can take the time or the resources to simulate  a major drill at a high-rise building in the middle of downtown Tampa.

Saturday morning a crew spent a solid hour practicing fighting a fire at One Tampa City Center. The men and women worked up a sweat, fighting through smoky hallways and dragging out fake victims. But they had something extra on their side.

“If every building had this technology it would make our job much easier,” said Susan Tamme, a District Chief with Tampa Fire Rescue. “This technology got us to the fire quicker and we could set up tactically.”

According to Curtis Massey, the CEO for Massey Disaster Planning, Tampa Fire is the only department in the country with this new mobile technology. Officials used iPads to check fire plans, the layout of the building, and even the air management system (how much air firefighters use).

“High-rise fires are unpredictable,” Tamme said. “Given the difficulty in accessing upper levels this training is invaluable. We can really gauge fitness levels and make sure we have the right equipment.”

Sandy Ballestra, the General Manager of the building, wishes everyone could get this kind of training.

“It helped us learn a lot about the building we didn’t know,” Ballestra said. “And I’ve been here fifteen years.”

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