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Winkler firefighters honed their skills in recent weeks with a series of intense training exercises.

Members took part in flammable liquid and structure fire training thanks to the donation of a mobile home. So far, Chief Richard Paetzold says they've been able to hold five live fire training sessions, each time experimenting with different techniques to use less water or search rooms more efficiently.

"Those are all things we've made adjustments to because of the opportunity to do live fire training scenarios," he explains. "You can talk about it in the classroom... but eventually you have to put it to the test."

WFD members also took part in a joint training course in The Pas along with firefighters from Flin Flon and Thompson. Paetzold explains departments in rural communities can't always meet the minimum requirement of trainees to allow courses to run, "that's the challenge because communities are so far apart up north."

"It's nice to see the fire services helping each other out to make sure training happens," Paetzold says.

He notes a training schedule is already in the works for Winkler Fire Department members for 2018.

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