In addition to preparing for the unexpected and rare, Firefighters routinely practice on the gear which is a regular part of their fire suppression assignments. In some cases, houses which are being torn down are lent to the district for use in this training. In this case, a donated house was used for Ventilation and Search and Rescue training.
First of all is Search and Rescue. Have you ever tried to navigate your house in the dark? How about in the dark on your hands and knees? How about in the dark, on your hands and knees, in a house you’ve never been in? Now try doing that with 50 pounds of gear and a time limit. This is what firefighters do at every house fire where someone could potentially still be alive. Drilling is crucial in this area to minimize the time it takes firefighters to find and remove a victim, as well as locate and extinguish the fire. Search and Rescue drills give firefighters a chance to develop and train on routines to help get you out faster, and put that fire out quickly! Pictured and Paramedic/Firefighter Randels and Firefighter Unger.
Ventilation?! Why is Firefighter Appelhans cutting a hole in a perfectly good roof?! Fires create a lot of heat and smoke, and by ventilating a hole up top, we create a chimney to vent out the bad gases and smoke, increasing survivability for people inside and visibility for the firefighters both coming for their rescue and trying to locate the fire. Constant practice and education on roofing materials and construction helps firefighters locate the right spot on the roof to make this chimney, and make short, efficient work of the ventilation.