Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hillsboro Firefighters to Conduct Practice House Burn

Hillsboro Firefighters, both paid and volunteer, will be conducting a series of training burns throughout the day on Thursday, June 18, 2009, at 26180 NW Evergreen Road. The series of burns will provide paid firefighters an opportunity to practice fighting fires. The first series of burns will be conducted in donated office trailers, also known as job shacks, provided by Skanska Corporation. Trainers will set small controlled burns in portions of these mobile offices and firefighting teams will be sent inside to extinguish the flames. These burns will be conducted from 8:30 am until about 1:00 pm. As training at each trailer is completed, firefighters will allow the trailer to completely burn in order to demolish the structure. The training is part of annual live-fire requirements of all firefighters.

From about 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm, Hillsboro Volunteer Firefighters will conduct training burns in a donated residence at the same address. The training is similar to that conducted in the earlier evolutions. However, these firefighters are approaching the end of their recruit academy or initial training. Until this time, the Volunteer Recruit Academy has provided recruits with classroom and hands-on fundamentals of all aspects of emergency medical response, rescue, and firefighting. These sessions will provide them with their first experience in fighting live fire in a relatively safe and controlled environment.

The donated structure burns provide the practical experience for firefighters that cannot be replicated in drill towers or other simulators. Firefighters must be able to enter a strange building that has active fire with dense smoke often down to the floor level. They must be able to locate the seat of the fire, extinguish the flames, monitor their air supply, communicate with the incident commander and maintain awareness of their team member locations as well as situational awareness for other hazards.

These drills serve as a reminder for all area residents to create and practice a fire escape plan for their home. The escape plan should include:

o Having working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
o Knowing two ways out of every room
o Having a meeting place outside, preferably in front of the residence
o Calling 9-1-1 from the meeting place or a neighbor’s home

For more fire and life safety information, visit: www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/fire or call 503-681-6166.

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