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Firefighters host "Firefighter down-Mayday" training

Fire departments in St. Joseph County are teaming up to make sure they are prepared to handle any situation. 

Six different fire departments  from Mishawaka to Southwest Central Fire Territory  spent today working side-by-side to make sure they’re prepared for the worst.

Handling a “mayday” situation is a skill that every firefighter must always perform perfectly. That’s why these departments are making sure they’re ready. 

“It’s crucial for us to do these drills. It’s certainly something that we hope never happens but our entire job is based around responding to emergencies,” said Justin Stopczynski, Battalion Chief of the Clay Fire Territory.

They ran through the entire scenario. First hearing it over the radio, then springing into action.  

Nick Miner, Engineer for Clay Fire Territory says the exercise comes with challenges.

“We’re in an unfamiliar atmosphere and we have to work with guys that we don’t really train to work with so when we do get together there can be clusters but today we did work out pretty good,” Nick said.

They feel confident that the drills ran smoothly Monday morning. But, they say there is always a lesson that can be taken from them.

“We want to learn from the things that don’t go so well but we also want to take the things that go really well and capture those and make sure they get used on the scene in the future,” said Brian Kazmierzak, Battalion Chief Penn Township Fire Department.

Each department will run the exercise three more times tomorrow and Thursday at the abandoned Oak Tree Community Church.  

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