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Firefighters reach new heights in Newmarket to adapt to town's changing landscape

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Central York Fire Service concluded an eight-day high-rise suppression training session on Friday in Newmarket, utilizing a newly constructed and nearly finished building on Deerfield Road.

Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Claude Duval said the high-rise training is crucial with the town's landscape changing.

"We are building buildings higher, and it's important for us to adapt our fire fighting strategies on that type of building," Duval said.

Friday marked the eighth and final day of the program, with crews beginning in the underground garage, incorporating water as part of the simulation.

"Most people learn best hands-on, getting their hands on it and actually doing it. The best way to practice is to practice like it's a real situation," said Capt. Tamara Roitman.

Firefighters' stamina was tested by running up the stairwell with hoses and then onto a higher floor to assess protocol and procedures.

"We've got some new equipment, and it's been awesome to try it and get familiar with it and practice with it. It is really valuable to get some real-life training in a real building," said Acting Capt. Kristy Paterson.

Roughly 145 firefighters participated in the training - the entire fire suppression division.

"It's changing old habits," Duval said.

Acting Capt. Phillip Montgomery, who was one of the lead instructors at the training session, was named the winner of the annual Jim Allen Award for his dedication to learning and leading on Thursday night. Montgomery specializes in a variety of areas, including high-rise building firefighting. Congratulations to Acting Capt. Montgomery.

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