BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - The men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep you safe are at Bowling Green State University this weekend honing their skills.
It's the Northwestern Ohio Volunteer Fireman's Association Fire School.
The free event attracts close to 500 first responders.
Ohio law requires 54 hours of firefighting education every three years for the volunteers.
They're updated on the latest procedures and advances in firefighting and lifesaving techniques.
"It's just like anything else. If you don't use your skills you lose your skills," said Bruce Silcott, president of the association.
Firefighters learned how to safely respond to a house fire inside a mobile lab.
At any instant temperatures can shoot from 300 to 1200 degrees.
"So we train firefighters how to recognize those changes so they know when to get out. This is what kills firefighters in our country. Not recognizing fire behavior characteristics," said Tony Davis of the State Fire Marshall's Office.
And it's equally important to know how to drive a fire truck.
In a simulator the lesson for firefighters is to make sure other motorists see you.
It's just as important to keep your cool when you get behind the wheel of a 60,000 pound rig with lights and sirens going.
"We don't bust through stop signs. We don't run red lights. We still yield the right of way. We don't do the public any good if we're getting in an accident responding to a scene," said Mr. Davis.
Volunteer firefighters say you can only read so much about attacking flames.
In this environment you actually feel the heat.
"Because if you don't train you may not go home," warns Darrell Scheele of the Noble Volunteer Fire Department.