Live fire training in empty building in Clementsvale

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Published on April 05, 2014

Bear River firefighter Kathy White participated in a controlled burn training exercise with live flame in an empty house in Clementsvale on Saturday, April 5.

Published on April 05, 2014

Bear River firefighters Rene’e Thacker and Sarah Cook share a thumbs up before taking their fourth trip into the house.

Published on April 05, 2014

Firefighters enter the burning building on hands and knees to keep cool, for better visibility and to avoid tripping in the dark.

Published on April 05, 2014

A stack of burning pallets in a metal barrel provided the heat and smoke—the safety officers said the heat above the firefighters head was 1300 ºF, and even at head height when crawling it was around 300ºF.

Published on April 05, 2014

Firefighters Todd Peck and Kathy White gave the fire a couple of shots to cool it down long enough for them to get by to the window and start clearing smoke and heat from the room.

Published on April 05, 2014

Rene’e Thacker and Sarah Cook force smoke and heat out the window using hydraulic ventilation; that is a steady stream of water directed through the window.

Published on April 05, 2014

While 30 firefighters took part in the actual live fire training, another dozen worked all day to provide water and safety support and to keep the fire burning.

Published on April 05, 2014

Firefighter Will Berry and Bear River Fire Chief Darryl Jelfs spent the day in the fire room, stoking the fire and watching over the trainees.

Two at a time firefighters entered the smoke filled house in Clementsport.

They crawled on hands and knees through complete darkness until they found the fire.

The temperature in the burn room was 1300ºF (700ºC) at the ceiling, 300ºF (150ºC) near the floor.

Even with their protective gear on, if they stood up their head felt like it was in an oven.

When they sprayed water on the fire, it instantly turned to steam, and then rained down on them as hot as a cup of coffee.

The drill was for the fire fighters to knock down the fire and then open a window and use a steady stream of water from their fire hose to force heat and smoke from the building.

[VIDEO from the live fire training]

Every time a crew retreated to let another crew of two take over, their training officers would stoke the fire, add another wooden pallet to the burn barrel, and close the windows to let the heat and smoke build back up again.

Bear River Fire Department spent the past couple weeks preparing an empty house in Clementsvale for a live fire training exercise this afternoon, Saturday, April 5.

The owners wanted the house leveled and the fire department wanted somewhere to train a batch of beginner firefighters.

The firefighters had lined one room, walls and ceiling, with sheet metal.

They made a sheet metal window that could be opened and closed and they built a metal barrel on the floor large enough to hold a pile of burning pallets.

The point of the exercise was for the firefighters to become comfortable in the smoke and heat and to practice the standard firefighting tactics so they become second nature.

Smith’s Cove Fire Department, Annapolis Royal and Brighton Barton also participated in the training. Firefighters from Eel Brook helped with firefighter instruction in advance of the exercise and also were on scene as safety officers for the exercise.

About 30 firefighters practiced the fire tactics, with each team of two taking up to four trips into the house. Another dozen firefighters provided water and safety support and kept the fire burning.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Organizations: Cove Fire Department, Annapolis Royal

Geographic location: Clementsvale, Clementsport

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