City leaders become firefighters for a day - FOX 13 News

City leaders become firefighters for a day

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - It is a situation many have never encountered.

A room full of smoke with no visibility.

There were no flames in this controlled environment, but it is a common call for firefighters.

"I didn't think I would be able to make it through all of it," said Chris Trovato.

Trovato works for the city of Treasure Island.

She had to feel her way through the building on her hands and knees.

"I'm really proud that I completed it," she said.

Firefighters outfitted everyone with protective gear, including air packs.

The gear all together weighed about 70 pounds.

"Putting on the gear and the weight of the gear along with the heat of the gear in June weather makes you realize that you have to stay hydrated. You don't get that feeling sitting behind a desk," said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Mayor Kriseman joined other city and county employees as they went through a day in the life of a firefighter.

"You can't see through smoke when there is a fire. You can't see inside the fire because it is black inside. I think the reality of it the training is hitting them today," said Lealman Fire District Chief Jim Millican.

Many weren't ready to trade their day jobs for the grueling work.

"You really have to be cut out to do this job. It has got to be apart of who you are. It really opens your eyes and gives you an appreciation for what they do everyday," said Mayor Kriseman.

The day gave them a chance to see first hand the challenges firefighters face.

"For me to see them do along with the look in their eyes when they come out shows... Wow I had no idea what you guys did in there," said Chief Millican.

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