Firefighters Fine Tune Their Skills

"The Truett Ellis Training Center" has been dedicated to the memory of Tyler's late fire late trainer, Truett "T.T." Ellis, who worked with Tyler Fire for 40 years.

The facility combines three drill centers: a combat challenge, smoke house and a burn building.

These simulation scenarios keep firefighters sharp. They encounter carrying a 45 pound hose into a tower, climb four flights of stairs and scale a wall. Then it's on to quick sprints and a rescue efforts, all with the hope of coming in under two minutes.

Walking into a smoke filled room, your eyesight becomes the most muted sense. Captain Micky Haisten explains, "We get thermal layers," he says. "It may be 900 to 1,000 degree's at roof level."

The smoke house is a two story building where firefighters learn to rely on their senses--that is everything other than eyesight. They scramble in, dodge furniture and search for victims, each time with a new mission.

Every skill they learn, is put to the test by the time they reach the "the burn building". It's the closest thing to a real fire. The training facility also is good for your wallet... It allows the Tyler Fire Department to get a better insurance rating. And in turn, that helps keep your homeowners insurance more affordable.