SRFD Legacy Burn Ends Live Burn Training for SRFD Recruits

SRFD Firefighter Recruit Alicia Randall stretches out the hose before turning on the water to put out the fire, during the Legacy Burn.

The Salt River Fire Department held its final live burn, the Legacy Burn for its nine fire recruits, on Friday, May 20, at the Tempe/APS Joint Fire Training Center. 

Recruits take a walk through of the building that will be filled with smoke and heat up to 500 to 800 degrees.

The Legacy Burn is meant to put firefighter recruits in a real-life scenario. It offers the opportunity for academy recruits to enter a burning building, rescue a victim, and then go back and put out the fire. Some recruits are accompanied by their family members who are also firefighters.

Firefighter recruit Ramo Wood and his father Deputy Fire Chief Tsosie Wood before their Legacy Burn.

“We have recruit Ramo Wood, whose father is Deputy Fire Chief Tsosie Wood,” said SRFD Fire Captain Chris Macchiaroli. “Deputy Chief Wood will do the live burn with Ramo.” 

During the training, SRFD recruits entered a two-story building that is specially built to withstand the heat of a fire. Inside, a metal basket is filled with wood and lit on fire by SRFD, Superstition and Mesa firefighters after each recruit has had their turn putting out the fire. 

“Each recruit had the opportunity to be on the nozzle of the hose and be a backup person that helps with carrying the hose. In some cases, for instance recruit Wood, [there will be] a third person going along with him, his father Deputy Chief Wood,” said Macchiaroli. “There will be a safety officer and an instructor that will go in with each recruit at all times.”

The recruits situate the water hose, break down a door and enter a burning building with temperatures of 500 to 800 degrees. Each recruit makes their way through the building and finds a victim, pulls that victim out to safety, and proceeds back into the building to put out the fire. A recruit should take about eight minutes to get through the course. Since starting the academy, the recruits have participated in more than eight live burn sessions. 

Ramo Wood exits the building after he pulls out a victim and extinguishes the fire.

After 10 years, Deputy Chief Wood put on his firefighter gear to participate in the Legacy Burn with his son. 

After taking his turn and having his father by his side, recruit Ramo Wood said, “It was fun. I had the normal nervousness of training in the fire, and plus the stress of having my role model there. I was really trying hard not to mess up, but I thought I did okay.” 

The SRFD recruits will complete their academy training and graduate early this month. The SRFD is seeking more recruits this summer to start the fall academy session. To apply, go to

Members of the Salt River, Superstition and Mesa Fire Departments help re-ignite the fire for the recruits to burn out.
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