Monday, June 25, 2012

Open House Draws Hundreds!

More than 600 people poured through the doors at Hillsboro Fire & Rescue's Jones Farm Fire Station No. 5 on Saturday (6/23/12) at our open house.   The new station went into service in January.  But, we wanted a little warmer weather to hold the open house to bring more citizens out to see their  new neighborhood fire station. 

Citizens tour Truck 5.
 Families toured the station and the apparatus housed there.   They enjoyed hotdogs and lemonade.

At one time, the engine bay was crowded!  Yes, we had that many people stopping in between 11 am and 3 pm. 

The bounce house with its fire department theme graphics was a big hit with all the kids, too!

Everyone wants to know what we carry on fire engines--the tools, medical equipment, hoses, and the all-important "jaws of life."

Kids got to sit in the driver's seat of the engine or truck and see what it would be like to be in control of these 70,000 pound vehicles.

Not sure, but it was often difficult to tell who was having more fun--the firefighters or the kids!

And for the little folks, everything seemed so BIG!

And, I think the dad's were enjoying that just as much as their sons were!

We are grateful to the community for the support of Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.  This fire station is beautiful and we wanted to let the community know how much we appreciate working here.  Our thanks to the city leadership for guiding this project to completion, too!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hillsboro Home Goes Up in Smoke For Training

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue made good use of a donated century-old house on SE 18th Avenue on Sunday to train our firefighters.  The "burn-to-learn" training session involved setting a fire in a room and allowing it to reach a certain size before sending in rookie firefighters and volunteers inside for some hands-on experience with live fire in a controlled setting.  They rotated through the homes many rooms to ensure the maximum usage of the structure.

Prior to the exercise, fire trainers had ensured any asbestos, water tanks or other hazardous items had been removed.  The training staff prepared a training action plan that included not only the rotation of firefighters through each task, but also contingency plans for interrupted water supply, equipment failure or an on-scene injury. 

In this photo, you can see the Safety Officer monitoring a crew in an adjoining room.  Notice the smoke level is down to the Safety Officer's waist level.  And, this was in a room with an open door where I was located.  In a closed home, smoke levels will go nearly to the floor and are extremely black and deadly.

After all training evolutions are completed, the final fire is set and the home is allowed to burn to the ground in a controlled manner. 

Flames leap from windows and doors as the old house is consumed.

Firefighters surround the building and wet down the walls they want to preserve as long as possible.  This controls the direction of the final heat and helps preserve the trees that were located close to the home.

Additionally, one firefighter used the deck gun mounted on top of a fire engine to help control the blaze's intensity, reduce ember production and protect nearby trees. 

The home's owners are removing the structure to make way for a new residence.  The burn-to-learn is a win-win for the owners and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.  They have the old structure removed with little materials going to the landfill and Hillsboro firefighters get some priceless training in real world conditions. 

We appreciate the neighbor's understanding and cooperation.  More that 75 people turned out to watch the home go up in smoke.  For fire and life safety information, visit