Mandan Firefighter Patrick Martin is taking every precaution to be prepared for any circumstance by exercising a real-world simulation during a pre-planning exercise.

“Basically, why we do that is just to have an idea of how we would attack a fire at different locations within that building,” Mandan Fire Department Captain Patrick Martin said.

Captain Martin said it first starts with a plan; learning about the building, what it has and doesn’t have, and then pulling out the needed gear to get the job done.

“How much hose will it take to stretch, do we have enough on our truck, on our reconnects or do we have to come up with some other options,” Martin said.

A pre-planning exercise, which Martin said takes anywhere from 45 minutes to even an hour, it’s done annually.

“When the weather’s nice, it’s nicer on us and we’re in and out of a building and got doors open; so obviously we don’t want to do it in the wintertime and create that problem for the residents,” Martin said.

Martin said being familiar with the building makes all the difference when arriving on the scene, like in the case of an apartment building that caught on fire twice in 2020.

“Just taking a look at the buildings and seeing what our obstacles may be and things like that so in the event that we do have to respond to a fire, it’s not our first time at that location.“ Martin said.

If a firefighter is seen outside an apartment building, and there are no flames in the air, they may be there inspecting and learning how to respond and keep you safe.

Martin also said they have a mobile device with information about your apartment. Everything from sprinkler systems to fire systems is all in there.

He said this makes a huge difference now compared to over a decade ago.