Fort A.P. Hill, Va. - Fort A.P. Hill Fire and Emergency Services and safety officers participated in a live fire training at Fire Station 8, June 1, 2021.
Prior to the training, the crew received a safety briefing on personal protective equipment (PPE) checks, medical screenings, and the training objectives.
The training begins with a call for a single engine company to a structural fire at Building 1285. The dispatcher advises the responding engine company that one victim was unaccounted for inside the burning structure.
The first Engine Company arriving on-scene starts the initial scene size up and conducts a 360-degree surveillance of the structure. However, before any firefighting activity begins a structural PPE safety check must be conducted. Once this is completed, the crews disconnect utilities to the structure to ensure the building is safe from external threats.
First responders then deploy equipment for entry and preplace the equipment at strategic locations around the scene prior to entering the structure.
Once safety precautions are in place, a firefighter and Company Officer enter the structure in a low profile position to avoid the heat above them in the room. The team begins search and rescue operations using a right handed search pattern, which helps them stay oriented in a smoke filled structure and allows firefighters to cover more of the search area when looking for victims.
Sometimes though, the first search crew on-scene encounters a situation they cannot solve and needs additional assistance.
“If our crews come upon a situation and find they need additional assistance, we have a Rapid Intervention Crew on standby, geared up and ready to assist the first team of firefighters,” said Article photos by Assistant Chief of Training Michael D. Visser.
Once the crew extinguishes the fire and ventilates the structure, the crew begins its recovery phase.
The entire team then holds an after action review on the training operation after returning to Fire Station 8. During the after action, all emergency responders who participate in the live fire training have an opportunity to provide input on the team’s actions and provide suggestions on ways to improve response times and operations.
“Trainings such as this one help us maintain our readiness and ensure our crews are trained and equipped to save lives when called upon,” said Visser, “This review of the days training fosters an environment of learning and encourages the fire fighters, officers as well as training and safety officers to ask questions, make observations and suggestions for additional training in the near future.”
Article photos by Assistant Chief of Training Michael D. Visser