HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Footage captured by a Huntsville firefighter as he battled an apartment fire is racking up views on social media.
The department posted the helmet cam video to show what fire crews face when they arrive on a scene. It gives a unique perspective to viewers as firefighters worked quickly to tackle a blaze at an apartment complex on Sparkman Drive last week.
Captain Frank McKenzie, Huntsville Fire & Rescue's public information officer, posted the clip to the department's Facebook page and it has thousands of views.
"That camera view did give you a little bit of what we deal with because it was daytime and they were fighting a fire in defensive mode from the outside because it was already so far gone when we got there. It shows what we experience. What you can't tell is the heat. The firefighter is in full gear. He has his mask on, his air tank and his turnout gear on," McKenzie said. "There's so much heat. The video we put up is just to give people a little bit of an idea of what we do."
It was the firefighter's personal camera attached to his helmet that captured that footage. Several members of the department have purchased them to use on the job. They're specially designed for firefighting purposes and can withstand very high temperatures.
"They're made to withstand 900 degrees for short periods of time. There also water resistant and sometimes waterproof," McKenzie explained.
As for the fire at the Summer Tree Apartments, the clubhouse burned down. No one was injured. The department will be using the clip for training because the team used the proper methods.
"We can teach things to our officers, our drivers and our firefighters," McZenzie said. "We teach our guys how to read smoke and how to do a 360 degree walk around. So there's several points in that video that we can take from that and be able to use it for training purposes."
Huntsville Fire & Rescue shared it on social media to give citizens an up close and personal look at how they operate when every second counts.
"A lot of people don't realize that when you see folks running away from flames, our guys are running into the flames. It gives you a firsthand view of what they're going into," Cpt. McKenzie added.
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