Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It's happening all week long here in Columbia. Firefighters from all over the state are gathering to get specialized training, like how to execute water rescues.
In its 113th year, the Fire-Rescue Conference draws firefighters from all over the state come to learn and practice different rescue operations.
"By us being able to train as a team to carry out these functions, even though this is an event, you can take these things and use them in a real-world situation such as a wildfire or a hurricane," says Brad Bramlett with the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
He says at least 1,000 firefighters pre-registered for the conference.
Daniel McManus owns Poseidon Air, Land, and Sea. His company trains first responders in emergency procedures like water rescue.
"We're teaching them the tools of the trade to respond with their water craft during flood response," says McManus.
On Tuesday of the week-long conference, some firefighters are training on the Broad River to simulate flooding, where they will practice emergency maneuvers and water extraction -- skills that were vital here in the Midlands during the devastating floods of 2015.
McManus says, "To know how to navigate a street that's been flooded, it's an essential skill. And we're teaching them how to read that water, how to right their boat if it's capsized. It's something that they need to know. We're putting them in an extreme environment and training them in that environment so that it's muscle memory."
In the training exercises, rookies and seasoned firefighters can benefit from what they learn.
Bramlett says, "You got people that are new to this field, and it helps them really understand it. And those that are already there, it just helps them keep that knowledge that they already know, right at the top of their game."
The conference lasts through the weekend.