Unique Firefighter Training at the WE Energies Plant

The Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT) is a special team from the Milwaukee Fire Department. Members from HURT carried out a training session at WE Energies Thursday (Aug. 25).

They are the part of the team that helped find three missing teenagers who were rescued in an old mine out in Dodge County last month.

In Thursday's drill they tested their rope skills and working in confined areas. A dummy was placed about 50 feet up in the air who acted like a WE Energies worker who needs help getting down.

Lt. Timothy Leszczynski, with the Milwaukee Fire Department, said they train daily and this was a unique opportunity for HURT.

"We train quite a bit," Leszczynski said. "Members who are in the hurt team are energetic, they like to train."

"We like to be proficient in what we do and we get a chance to see things we wouldn't see on a daily basis with the Fire Department. We get to see the inner working of WE Energies boiler. We enjoy what we do and it challenges us."  

HURT used pulleys and ropes and had to come up with a game plan on the spot to get the worker quickly to safety.

"In an industry there's going to be bigger everything, bigger falls, bigger electricity, bigger items that can crush you so hyper vigilance is what we need in a scenario like this," Leszczynski said.

Cathy Schulze, WE Energies spokesperson, said We Energies partners with the Milwaukee Fire Department to carry out these types of trainings.

"We’ve done work at the top of utility poles, we’ve done work underground and in confined spaces, manholes,” Schulze said. “They’ve done joint training with us in our steam tunnels so it’s a partnership where we have done a lot of work together to help us both better respond to real life scenarios in the field.”

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