Firefighters from Europe training in Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Firefighters from across Europe are here in Tucson training under the Fire Explorer Program that allows them to experience fire departments across the United States.

Today at the Regional Public Safety Training Academy these firefighters learned more about how to identify fire behavior.

“What we want to do is give the firefighters the tools, the know-how and knowledge to prevent themselves from getting in a flashover. And a flashover is simply all of the contents in the room reach their ignition temperature and simultaneously ignite,” said Mike Carsten, Tucson Fire Department (TFD) Assistant Fire Chief.

TFD prepared drills to share their knowledge of handling fires. Pascal Massee is a fire captain in his village Castricum in the Netherlands and is enjoying the training.

“There are slight different things. And by seeing the things of them, and I can compare, and we talk about it,” said Massee.

He said many firefighters are volunteers where he comes from, meaning they stay on call. This is his first time having full-time experience, but this isn’t the only difference.

“The structures are different, the federal laws are different. Our roads are quite different. We wouldn’t be able to ride these big trucks over where I’m from,” said Massee.

For the most part, the firefighters are familiar with TFD’s fire techniques and knowledge.

“This stuff we do here, we already do it in Belgium,” said Belgian firefighter Vital Theys.

Still, their experience has been memorable so far.

“Very nice. The firefighters are very kind. They try new stuff, we got to try this, we got to try that,” said Theys.

Carsten added it’s been a rewarding experience for TFD as well.

“It’s just as important for us to sit down and talk with them to learn how they do things,” said Carsten.

Bringing this program to Tucson had been in the works for a couple years because of the pandemic, but now that they are finally here everyone is excited to continue to learn from each other.

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Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.

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