FDNY fire crews underwent extensive subway response training in Manhattan, crawling through simulated subway fires in close quarters.
“Time is of the essence, you want to get in as fast as possible and get the victims out as fast as possible,” said FDNY Fire Academy instructor, Captain Tim Callahan.
Firefighter trained at Randall’s Island, where they moved through simulated subway stations filled with acrid smoke and the screams of victims.
Even though it is just training, Callahan says it is dangerous work.
“Sometimes when we have it smoked-up you can’t see your hand in front of your face,” Callahan told ABC7. “If you can’t see what’s going on two feet in front of you, how are you going to know if there’s a victim 10, 15 feet, hidden under a seat? Sometimes the conductor is in the compartment, so we have to find that guy too.”
While NYFD firefighters train every eight days at the academy, mass casualty subway training is much more challenging and rare.
FDNY Academy Executive Officer Tom Robson says the training is essential.
“The more we train, the better we’re going to be able to respond if something happens,” said Robson. “We really do train for people’s bad days but you hope those days never come.”
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