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Firefighters train for underground emergency

"We get called for a lot of different things so we want to be ready," said Traverse City Fire Chief Jim Tuller.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Traverse City area firefighters are taking their training underground.

Crews took part in an exercise in case there's an emergency in the tunnels at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

"We get called for a lot of different things so we want to be ready," said Jim Tuller, Traverse City Fire Chief.

Not only are the tunnels becoming a popular tourist attraction, but Chief Tuller said teenagers have been known to sneak in the tunnels at night.

The scenario is that a person is hurt and stuck under some debris in the tunnels.

When firefighters arrive on the scene they are told what happened and have to react as if it were a real emergency.

"Its a very unique situation that does not happen every day," said Chief Tuller. "however, it could happen. That's why we have to train and practice."

The exercise was a collaboration between Traverse City Fire Department, Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department and Elmwood Fire Department.

"We use very specialized equipment and it takes a lot of manpower," said Chief Tuller. "It's very methodical and takes a little time to get everything in place."

Chief Tuller said they train at night to make sure they're ready for the worst case scenario.

"It takes longer and it's more dangerous," said Chief Tuller. "because of the lower visibility you're greatly impaired."

At the end of the day the chief said its all about keeping everyone safe.

"We want to make sure our rescuers are safe while they're doing their job," said Chief Tuller. "They want to go home to their families at the end of the shift."

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