Sechelt firefighters had a long day of hands-on training Oct. 28 when they used a donated home on the waterfront for fire practice.
The home in the 6700 block of Highway 101 was set ablaze numerous times to simulate different fire scenarios and teams tackled each one with direction.
“What we do is we set up each room in the structure with a fire scenario using pallets, furniture and combustible materials and we break our guys into crews of three or four team members and we send them in to do a coordinated fire attack,” said assistant fire Chief Trevor Pike.
“Each team consists of a senior firefighter and usually a rookie or a new firefighter and they get to watch the fire get lit and they watch the fire as it develops through its growth stages and right up to a roll-over stage. Sometimes we even get what’s called a flashover in the room where the whole room spontaneously ignites.”
Once the rooms were ablaze, teams started to extinguish the fires.
“So you have an attack team, a back-up team, a ventilation team and what’s called an RIT team, rapid intervention team, and that team is dedicated solely for firefighter rescue in the event something goes wrong inside,” Pike said.
He noted there’s nothing that beats live fire training.
“It’s a really good way for firefighters to get an accurate depiction of what happens inside a structure when fire occurs and it’s also the best training out there as far as interior fire tactics go.”
About 28 firefighters took part in the training Sunday that started at 8:30 a.m. and wrapped up at about 4:30 p.m.
Teams were able to complete 15 different training evolutions before burning the house completely to the ground.
“It makes for a long day, but the training is very, very valuable,” Pike noted.