Trial by fire: Training day for firefighters

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Franklin firefighter Tony Lauinger joined the Franklin Fire Department on Jan. 4, after working with the department the previous four years as a paramedic with Seals. “I fell in love with the job and the brotherhood everyone in the department has,” Lauinger said.

On just his second day of work, Lauinger found himself on the scene of a large fire that destroyed two businesses at 191 Commerce Drive on Jan. 6. Nobody entered the building to fight the fire due to safety concerns, but firefighters had to endure temperatures that were about 10 degrees below zero. Lauinger has never been inside a burning building, but has participated in a simulated fire. A room made of solid steel walls and floor simulated the heat that would be felt in a fire, while the flames were controlled mechanically. He’s been on the scene of a burning building, but from a distance as an EMT.

“I’ve seen them from the ambulance, but never on the attacking side of things,” Lauinger said. “I’m definitely not a person that wants to sit back and watch things happen. I want to help.” Lauinger found his current profession by accident.

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