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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Firemen from the Gravette and Bella Vista fire departments suit up in preparation for entering the old walnut shelling plant on Highway 72 West in Gravette. These firemen, as well as some from the Maysville Fire Department and one from Decatur, participated in a training exercise Saturday, July 27, performing mock search and rescue missions in the old building.

GRAVETTE -- The Gravette Fire Department hosted a mutual aid training exercise at the old shelling plant building on Arkansas Highway 72 West in Gravette on July 27. Fire departments represented, in addition to the Gravette department, included Maysville, Bella Vista and Decatur. Representatives from Northwest Health EMS were also on hand in case they were needed.

Several simulated search and rescue missions were conducted during the day, using different teams of firefighters each time. David Orr, Gravette fire chief, thanked R&R Manufacturing, current owners of the building, for allowing the departments to use the old shelling plant containing a mix of small rooms, large warehouse-type rooms and even an upstairs area so the firemen involved were able to get a feel for doing search and rescue patterns in many different types and sizes of rooms.

One of the crew members explained that the Gravette department does training every day, "but this is just something special."

"We used smoke machines and mannequins to try to make the experience as realistic as possible," Orr said, "and everyone got some great training out of it."

Fourteen Gravette firefighters, three from Bella Vista, two from Maysville and one from Decatur were involved in the training, as well as a junior firefighter from Gravette and one from Maysville.

Orr expressed appreciation for all those who participated.

"I would like to thank the men and women who gave up their Saturday for this as most of them are volunteer and only did this to better themselves and the service they could provide to the community," Orr said. "They all worked very hard and it showed just how much heart they have to help other people."

Community on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: Area fire departments hold training exercise

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