Firefighters Train To Drive An Engine

This week{}more than 400 firefighters{}are being{}put to the test at the regional training center west of Fresno.{}{}Friday a{}few of them will try to earn the chance to drive a fire engine. They've spent the week maneuvering the 35-thousand pound truck around the cones on the course.{}

Salinas firefighter Jason Larsen is one of the instructors at the week long training symposium.{} "All these guys are here because they're motivated cause they want to promote and they want to be better firefighters."

Firefighters statewide spend five days on the course learning the finer points of spinning this 35-thousand pound engine around cones. {} Andrew Askew is a Sanger firefighter.{}{}"In a small town like Sanger you don't have a lot of people out there so we all have to be trained at the same level. {} We all need to be able to drive."

There are four different exercises that firefighters must pass to become an engineer.{} The serpentine teaches you the pivot points of the fire truck.{} There is also parallel parking, the three point turnaround{}and the final challenge is diminishing clearance. That's where you drive thru a narrow avenue and stop the fire engine within 18 inches of the cone.{}

The professionals will be put to the test Friday afternoon.{}{}{}