At one point Mankato firefighters joined the training by providing the means for tactical team members to get on the roof of the old bank. That gave the team an opportunity to use fire equipment they weren’t used to using, said Don Gabler, Blue Earth County sheriff’s deputy and team member.
Firefighters also had a chance to train for the possibility of having to use their specialized equipment for something other than fighting fires in high places.
“It’s nice to have them participate in something like this,” Gabler said. “They get a feel for what they have to do.”
In a real situation, things would be much different than what happened Tuesday, Gabler said. The firefighters would be protected by armed officers in full gear.
The scene downtown would have been different, too, if the situation would have been real. Nearby buildings would have been evacuated and downtown streets would have been closed to traffic, Gabler said.
Hagen said residents aren’t always aware of training taking place in public areas because it’s often done at night. The team also trains regularly in public schools when when students and teachers are on break.