WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - When it come to fighting fires and saving lives there's no better way to learn how then to have to do it in a virtual classroom.
And that's exactly what fire fighters from 12 fire departments across southern Illinois did on Saturday.
They intentionally set a home on fire at the corner of Douglas and West 7th, to give fire fighters a real life scenario of what it's like to battle flames and smoke, while possibly saving lives.
"You don't get to train like this very often," said Captain Ron Rains with the West Frankfort Fire Department. "You don't have a house where you can set fires and put them out. And do some controlled training, do searches and fire behavior in a normal setting."
But more importantly, each department paired up with fellow fire fighters in each phase of the training session. Which fire fighters say is important for when they have to fight a real fire together.
"If you can train with these guys and train with other departments you can get an idea of what they're capable of and what you're capable of. It's very important that we work together. Because you never know what the situation is going to entail," said Captain Rains.
And, the training session also gave young fire fighters the chance to learn from veterans.
"There's always a lot to learn for anybody and everybody," said Tim Bragg an instructor with the Illinois Fire Service Institute. "It's all about safety for ourselves and the public. Hands on that's where the fire fighters learn."