Firefighters train with new lifesaving equipment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Firefighters train with new lifesaving equipment

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — San Diego firefighters are in the midst of training with a new tool that is proven to save lives.  

The San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation spent more than a year raising money to buy "personal escape systems" which cost $500 each. Now, each San Diego firefighter will have one as he or she heads to a call.  

The small gadget, also called a PES, allows a firefighter to escape a burning building in just 30 seconds. Compared to the current system the San Diego firefighters currently use, which can take more than four minutes for one firefighter to get out and has to be used with another person to perform an escape.  

The need for the PES became clear in 2005 after two firemen were killed on the job after they were forced to jump from a window and four others sustained career-changing injuries.  

The new training is tacked on to current escape drills - which includes training on wire cutting to get free from entanglement and wall breaching.    

The PES is with them through it all in a small pouch that clips onto the uniform and serves as a last ditch effort to get out of a dangerous situation.       

When firefighters leave training they will be issued a belt, which is the first part of the system. The PES part will be rolled out in late February.

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