Friday, February 29, 2008

A Wonderful Opportunity

As I understand it, a local property owner wants to build a couple of new buildings on his or her land. And they have some old buildings they want gone -- three to be exact.

So in an act of extreme generosity, they have donated the buildings to the fire department. That means that we get to BURN THEM DOWN!!!

Last night was our first look at the property. There's a house, a barn and a garage. We spent all night practicing search and rescue in the house. Now I've done a couple of dry runs in smoke trailers and at the Washington State Fire Academy when it was brand new. The trailer was last year, and the WSFA was .... many years ago. The thing that I remember about both of them was that we did a slow, methodical search.

Last night, however, we practiced being the initial crew in, and this was FAST. We were in and out of rooms in 30 seconds or less sometimes. And then my first crew was given a body to drag out. It would have been better had I not had this crud stuff in my system that's caused a sore throat, squeaky voice, general tiredness and a headache last night that felt like I was going to birth an alien life form.

I'm not sure what the whole plan is, but the property owner wants to start building sometime early spring, so we only have a few weeks really to do our thing. We're going to have several opportunities to do more search and rescue, with and without hoses, maybe some ladder drills, and then we'll work on controlled burns.

Sheridan is not a hotbed of structure fire activity (which is good), so this kind of training is invaluable.

I'll have to maybe convince Mrs. Ref to come along to some of these and get pictures so I can post them.

Yeah ..... This is going to be fun.


Mark J. | 11:56 AM, February 29, 2008  

This summer at Silver Flag training the chaplains got to watch some folks set fire to a plane fuselage that was sitting in a pool of jet fuel, then put out the fire. That was awesome. The fire was out in under a minute... Very impressive considering the heat and all.

The really freaky thing is how they lit the fire. One of them got into a silver suit and waded out into the get fuel with a flame thrower and just started lighting it... While he was still wading.

Practice makes perfect.

ymp | 3:11 PM, February 29, 2008  

I read this and one part of my brain immediately said "FUN!" The other part reminded me that this is why firefighters can be a little crazy.

The Lovely Wife | 9:11 PM, March 05, 2008  

what do I get if I come along to take pictures?

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