The volunteer firefighters of the WFPD started 2020 off with some great training on January 14, 2020!
Our department received a shipment of composite bottles, which will supplement our supply of aluminum bottles for our SCBAs. Chief Rob Lane explained that these new composite bottles are lighter and will last longer than the aluminum bottles. We’re especially pleased with the Wildcats decal!
This led to some training for everyone, from the firefighters to the cadets and juniors, to learn the differences in the bottles.
After the hands-on training, Assistant Chief Tim Freeman had a full list of things to relay to the firefighters, including what to look for at fire scenes. A firefighter’s version of “See something; Say something” includes looking for clues on how and where the fire began.
Tim reiterated the importance of the size up. A size up is the act of observing a situation or area before deciding on a plan of action. He stressed the fact that firefighters need to protect themselves from danger by thoroughly examining the area around a structure or vehicle before deciding how to proceed.
Captain Terry Marshall discussed a particularly harrowing example of the importance of the size up and always maintaining situational awareness. He spoke of responding to a structure fire where the firefighters on scene were trying to keep the fire from spreading to another nearby structure. The firefighters were fighting the fire and didn’t notice just how hot the area between the two buildings was until they realized their gear was smoking and melting.
Terry passed one of the firefighter’s helmets around. It was absolutely melted on top. For perspective on this, here is an article which gives a breakdown on firefighters’ gear:
Extreme conditions are severe and/or unusual exposures, such as being caught in a flashover or next to the flame front. The thermal load exceeds .32 cal/cm2 and the temperature is greater than 572° F. Under these conditions, the garment design is to provide 15–30 seconds of protection—just enough to allow the firefighter to escape.https://firerescuemagazine.firefighternation.com/2013/12/31/understanding-your-ppe-levels-and-ratings/#gref
Going hand-in-hand with this message was Tim’s next point. Both Chief Lane and Tim constantly stress the need for the firefighters to relay information via their radios, especially when they arrive on scene. The first firefighters on scene can relay information to those enroute about the severity of the situation, needs, and what the scene looks like. This information can also be recorded by the dispatchers for the reports which follow incidents.
Because the Fire Chiefs Meeting took place at Station #1, we had some guests, including Lakeview Heights Fire Chief Ryan Metscher and Assistant Chief Ed Welch!
Thank you to the firefighters who give their time to protect our district!
See you next time!