Realistic training keeps fire crews on point
HRFE stations 21 (Lake Echo) and 22 (North Preston) participated in a realistic structure fire exercise recently. Aimed at keeping the vital steps all firefighters must perform to keep themselves and other crews safe, protect as much property as possible, and save the lives of others, the training is aimed to be as realistic and grueling short of a real fire.
From the initial page out (crews were not given the location ahead of time) the crews had to arrive on scene and immediately begin. Observing the structure upon arrival, command was looking for any obvious smoke or fire, as well as observe if any people were outside and any immediate risks such as propane tanks and power wires. A 360 observation was put into action to further the investigation.
Crews made their way inside the main level of the building and checked out the alarm box. Trouble indicated basement, and a previous 360 of the building showed an exterior basement door. A crew was deployed to investigate and found heavy smoke coming from the basement. A charged line was stretched and a fire attack and primary search of the basement took place in near zero visibility as smoke made visibility difficult.
Crews had to rotate on the hose and continue searching just like a real fire, as well as ensure the fire did not spread in other parts of the building. Two mock “victims” were found in the areas of the fire and were recovered from the scene. As the crews pushed on, instructors would update their status.
Afterwards, the crews got together for critique and questions. Overall the fight went well, considering the hazards and unfamiliar location.
As many of these crews are volunteer firefighters, it’s important to remember that they face countless challenges while balancing a civilian life. Many have faced real structure fires including the recent Lawrencetown Rd fire, serious car crashes and more. Thank you for your service.