The training course took them through every aspect of a rescue including the use of a simulated smoke-filled, pitch-black scenario often faced by firefighters when entering a building on fire. The system begins when a distressed firefighter uses an emergency button on his radio, automatically placing himself on a separate frequency and contacting a dispatcher at the region’s Verdugo Fire Communication Center. The dispatcher then contacts the incident commander at the location, who notifies the RIC. The separate frequency is again used to contact and locate the downed firefighter, Guerrero said. Firefighters covered four information segments during the training, including how to fasten a new air tank in case the distressed firefighter’s is empty. “Hopefully, we never have to use this system,” said Guererro. “But the system’s in place. In the event we do have an emergency, we have a mechanism in place to save our own.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300 Ext. 4461160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In response, the training calls for departments to create rapid intervention companies within their ranks. Each company is made up of two firefighters to be stationed at the ready at most large-scale emergency incidents, he said. “The last death we had in this area was when a captain was killed about 10 years ago,” he said, “but we still need to take great measures to make sure all firefighters are safe.” The day’s training gave the 11 participating departments a standard course of action to be taken in case a firefighter is lost or trapped while inside a burning building or involved with a hazardous materials incident. Firefighters from Monterey Park, Burbank, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, Alhambra, Glendale, Arcadia, Monrovia, San Marino and Sierra Madre joined the Pasadena department. • Photo Gallery: Rescue Training PASADENA – About 70 firefighters from departments across the San Gabriel Valley converged Wednesday on a block of empty warehouses in Old Pasadena in an unusual training exercise: how to rescue one another in an emergency. “We’re very good at helping other people,” said Pasadena fire Capt. Armando Guerrero. “We want to ensure we are just as good at helping each other.” On average, more than 100 firefighters are killed each year in the United States putting out fires and saving lives, said Guerrero.