Sixteen new firefighters with the Santa Maria Fire Department got live structure fire training on Thursday.
The training is required for all new recruits.
The exercise puts firefighters inside a structure that is actively burning. They're fully covered in safety clothing and have masks and oxygen tanks.
"It gives them an idea really of what they are going to see when they get out and start responding to incidents, lets them feel what that heat feels like, lets them understand what the limitations are or the limitations of their equipment and allows them to also understand what they can do to change the conditions inside the structure," explained Deputy Fire Chief Todd Tuggle.
Fire officials say the goal is to show the new recruits how fire behaves and how they can look for hazards and stay safe while fighting a structure fire.