After having their training delayed by inclement weather on Feb. 2, area volunteer firefighters completed some basic training in pump operations, search and rescue, drafting techniques, roof ventilation, ladders and recovery this past Saturday.
Springdale, TNT, Harrogate and the Thomas Walker fire departments all participated in the training session which ended in live fire exercises. In those exercises, Springdale Fire Department Capt. Richard Bailey lit a pile of debris inside one of the donor home’s interior rooms while over 10 volunteer firefighters used their personal protective equipment and devices to learn about fire from the inside.
During the first live fire exercise, the fire grew to engulf half the room and Bailey along with Capt. Banks from the TNT Fire Department explained the difference between “good” and “bad” smoke. They were also instructed on how to trust their personal safety equipment and how to react in certain situations. The fire was extinguished and the trainees were sent back outside to get a break before they went back into the house for the final session of the day.
In the final session, the fire was set and the smoke dropped to a level in which the trainees had to learn to navigate the house while basically crawling on the floor. All in all, the training is essential to every prospective firefighter and is ideally used to save other people’s property and lives while protecting their own. All those involved in the training appreciate the McDaniel family for the donor house and would like to encourage other property owners to consider using one of their structures for future training.