Trinity County Firefighters Spend Weekend Attending Live Fire Training
Firefighters from throughout Trinity County made the trip to Shasta College this weekend to attend live fire training. This is the 5th year for this annual training hosted by Weaverville Fire Department, with the cooperation of Shasta College Fire Technology Department. The training facility at Shasta College has two rooms that allow fire to be ignited inside, so that the firefighters can make entry and extinguish the fire.
“The facility here at Shasta College allows firefighters to become familiar with the operation of their safety gear and breathing apparatus under controlled fire conditions” explains Scott Alvord, Weaverville Fire Chief.
The training session starts with a briefing of the day’s activities and safety, then the firefighters are spilt into teams to facilitate the training. The morning is spent reviewing basic skills such as advancing hose lines, carrying a person down a ladder, and using tools to force open a door. New this year is a maze for firefighters to simulate the dark environment they will encounter when searching for a victim during a fire; called the “Confidence Course”. It was named this because it challenges the firefighter to crawl through a very tight maze while using their breathing apparatus.
“After going through this course many of the firefighters had greater understanding of what the breathing apparatus will allow them to do, and how they need to remain clam in these tough conditions.”, related Chief Alvord. “I was very proud of these firefighters and how they were able to work through this course.”
Lunch this year was provide and served by the Weaverville Fire Department Support Services. Sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit and chips were served along with cold drinks. In addition, Support Services operated the air compressor trailer to keep the firefighters stocked with fresh air for the breathing apparatus.
“Our Support Services group was an awesome addition to the training this year! With their assistance, training went much smoother and with fewer interruptions.” Chief Alvord said.
After lunch the live fire training started with teams rotating in to attack ten different fires that were ignited. The fires were built using pallets, scrap wood and straw. The fire inside the metal container allows the firefighters to get the feel of real fire conditions, while allowing the instructors to keep a close eye on the firefighters to ensure they are safe.
Forty-two firefighters from Salyer, Hawkins Bar, Downriver Fire, Junction City, Hyampom, Hayfork, Douglas City, Lewiston and Weaverville along with 8 instructors from Weaverville Fire and one instructor from Cal-Fire participated over the two day training. Positive statements came from all of the fire departments regarding the training. They felt the training brought them to a better level and understanding of fire behavior and confidence in their safety gear.