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Firefighters Practice Winter Skills

WAOW Television

Winter presents challenges for just about everyone, including first responders.

The Merrill Fire Department is practicing some skills they don't use every day and that are made more difficult by winter conditions, all to make sure they stay on top of their job.

"If you don't practice them, eventually when you get to a scene you might not be so familiar with how things go," said Battalion Chief Phil Skoug.

One of those skills is winter portable pump training. It's a necessary process when they're in rural areas and don't have quick access to the hydrant system.

Instead of a hydrant, the department uses a body of water by drilling a hole in the ice and pumping the water out.

Of course safety is a top priority when out on the ice, so firefighters make sure they're equipped with personal flotation devices before heading out. 

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