Firefighters from across the state gather for symposium, get hands-on training

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SALT LAKE CITY – Hundreds of firefighters are in the Salt Lake Valley this weekend for the annual Utah Fire Symposium, which brings firefighters from across the state together to better learn how to serve the public.

The event is sponsored by the Salt Lake Valley Fire Alliance, and this year the meeting has incorporated hands-on training.

Courses included elevator rescues, advanced searches, active shooter situations, thermal imaging, extraction from a motor vehicle and more.

“Hands- on training is invaluable,” said Capt. Matthew Rhoads with Unified Fire Authority’s training division. “We don’t get enough of this kind of stuff. You got guys out here on the weekend spending their own time, honing in their skills, getting better and what they do. They believe in being the best that they can be, so any time we can get hands-on training, it’s the best.”

There were about 25 firefighters practicing extraction techniques on 30 vehicles Friday, and they will have around the same number Saturday while others participate in a variety of other classes.