Firefighters practice drill at VF Outlet Mall

Firefighters practice drill at VF Outlet Mall Tuesday

IOWA, LA (KPLC) - You may have seen several emergency vehicles at the VF Outlet Mall in Iowa on Tuesday.

Not to worry, it was just a drill.

Wiggling underneath a door, firefighters entered what was supposed to be a poorly lit, smoke-filled room.

"We're going to go in and do search-and-rescue on hands and knees crawling around," said Iowa Fire Department Assistant Chief Glenn Mott.

Dressed in full gear, using flashlights, it looked real – minus the fire. But Tuesday, firefighters were practicing a drill which Mott said was still important.

Mott said the purpose of the drill was to simulate real life scenarios that firefighters would normally encounter on the job.

"We're mainly going to be testing our younger firefighters, giving them some command experience. We're actually going to have two people in there that's going to be victims and we're going to go in and find them and bring them out," said Mott.

Mott also played the role of a victim and firefighters did successfully get him out of the building.

A surprise scenario was also added, where one of their own men was injured and had to be carried out.

And it wasn't just Iowa Fire participating in the drill. Several fire departments including: Bell City, LeBleu and Jefferson Davis also attended.

"We already work together pretty close-knit, so this is just more mutual aid training for us," stated Mott.

And the VF Outlet Mall is a great training site for them, allowing them to work both inside and outside the building.

They already plan to come back to practice a different drill.

"We're going to do some ladder and high-angle training here, so it's versatile for us," said Mott.

Overall, Mott said the new firefighters did well, but there's always more to work on.

Most of the firefighters who participated in the drill were volunteers.

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