Firefighters add dodgeball to training routine in hopes of saving lives

Click to play video: 'Firefighters play dodgeball as unique training exercise' Firefighters play dodgeball as unique training exercise
WATCH ABOVE: California firefighters train by playing dodgeball – Mar 30, 2017

A fire department in California has found a new way of making its crew members more efficient on the job.

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The Orland Fire Department has incorporated dodgeball, an activity usually reserved for elementary school gymnasiums, as part of its training regiment.

But unlike regular dodgeball players, the firefighters wear all of their equipment, which weighs more than 40 pounds.

The exercise is designed to improve the cardio levels of firefighters, so that when they respond to an emergency call they can better regulate the air in their oxygen tanks.

The New York Times reports a standard oxygen tank that has 30 minutes of clean air can be used up in as little as 17 minutes when firefighters are breathing heavily during an emergency call.

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Although it was meant for the purposes of career development, the video appears to show firefighters having a good time.

At one point in the video a firefighter is seen being hit in the head with one of the dodgeballs, sending his helmet flying through the air. Fortunately the ladderman avoided serious injury thanks to his full face mask.

The activity also appeared to require firefighters to use teamwork and muscle strength by pulling teammates who were hit off to the side of the playing court.

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