Firefighters discuss dangers of their job - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Firefighters discuss dangers of their job

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Officials say four firefighters died and five others were hurt battling a five-alarm fire at a hotel and restaurant.

When a call comes in for a fire, those responsible for putting them out never know what to expect. Firefighters in Madison say one of the biggest obstacles they face is the unknown. 

"I'd say the biggest problem is getting somewhere in zero visibility with imminent danger around you and not knowing where you are going," said Chad Menard. 

He's been with the Madison Fire Department for almost seven years.  He said a big part of battling a blaze safely is teamwork.

"You are going in there with one goal and one mission and you try not to deviate from that plan so staying together, knowing who is in your group and working towards a common goal," he said.   

A goal for which they have help to accomplish: The Madison Fire Department has a heavy rescue truck on deck with a rapid intervention team assigned to it and every tool imaginable like the Jaws of Life, shovels and more to help those fighting a fire.  

"They aren't there to do anything else," said Menard.  "They stay ready to go at a moment's notice, so if we do call a mayday whether we are trapped or low on air, those are ready to immediately go in strictly for us." 

Menard said being a firefighter involves a lot of risk and in some situations like the one in Houston, that risk can be fatal.

"Our prayers are definitely with the family," he said.  "When you hear about it you know that those guys died doing what they love and they did what they are supposed to do."

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