VIDEO: The San Bernardino County Fire Department hosted a hands-on workshop to provide a glimpse of what firefighters go through on a daily basis - and they invited local elected leaders and members of the media.
From medical calls and car accident scenes, to attacking structure fires, I took part in all of the simulations during my day as a firefighter. But the smoke and fire was quite real.
Once I was suited up in head-to-toe protective gear, I entered a room with a controlled fire made to mimic a structure fire. Temperatures in the room reached between 200 to 300 degrees.
It got really dark. The black smoke enveloped me and then my fingers started burning.
That's something that most firefighters feel while battling flames, which can take a toll on your senses.
"Like sight, your hearing's a little off. The heat alone is screaming at you in your head," said San Bernardino County firefighter John Marini.