DENVER (CBS4) – Before they can become firefighters, some Denver recruits are put to the test. Being a firefighter means being ready for anything, and they train exactly for that.
Saturday morning, Denver’s newest recruits faced the biggest challenge of their careers to become part of the Denver Fire Department family. Charmaine Cassie said, “We’ve trained in the cold, we’ve trained in the heat, we’ve trained in the dumping snow.”
She and her classmates never faced anything like they did Saturday. You can think of it as their final exam. They will climb 31 floors in more than 100 pounds of gear to fight a staged fire, but they aren’t finished.
Next, they get a call about a down firefighter on the 44th floor. They have to do it all over again. This time to save one of their own.
“Today is a huge mental and physical challenge for all of our recruits,” said Assistant Chief of Safety and Training Carly Helwick.
Cassie has been training for this since their first day at the academy. Still she admitted, “It was definitely tough.”
Even though she and her classmates were challenged like they never have been before, they say it was worth it to join the DFD family.
“Every other Denver firefighter has done this. Now you’ve done this, and it gives them that chance to kind of be a part of something bigger,” Helwick said.
It’s a scenario they hope to never be in ever again, but firefighters train for any situation and hope for the best.
“It’s the worst thing we ever are going to do in our career, but it’s the one thing we know we can never fail at,” said Helwick.