Savannah firefighters using blighted houses for training

Savannah firefighters using blighted houses for training

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah firefighters are getting a unique opportunity to improve their skills by using houses acquired by the City in a blight-fighting initiative.

Savannah has been focusing efforts to improve the look of Cumming Street on the City’s west side and part of that is tearing down blighted houses and building new, improved places to live.

Before tearing down the old houses, the City and fire department leaders thought why not use them for firefighting training if they’re coming down anyway.

And that’s exactly what they’re doing, starting Tuesday.

Captain James Thomson points out that while they have training simulators, it’s not always as good as the real thing.

The more firefighters can train on real-world structures, the better prepared they'll be when it comes to responding to a real-world emergency.

“We’re rotating companies in from the three battalions we have. A company in the morning, a company in the afternoon to try to get as many people as we can in a three day period between the two structures we have acquired," said Capt. James Thomson.

The two houses are two of four the City acquired to improve blight along Cumming Street.

The City is looking to take five more along this stretch, which could mean even more opportunities for the fire department down the line.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.