Firefighters continue to perish to the tune of more than 100 annually. Despite our best efforts, this number has remained constant. Overall, occurrences of structure fires have declined through the years. Our fire prevention efforts are working. But why are we still dying?
Entrapment is one reason. Despite the evolution of the RIT concept, when firefighters become trapped, depending on the severity of the situation, they are unable to free ourselves and it takes time for RITs to find them. Creating means of egress such as breaching walls is one option. However, we do not have the opportunity to train in existing buildings and get a real feel for the exertion involved with this type of operation often. As line and training officers, it is our responsibility to seize opportunities when the present themselves.
There's more to this type of training than just getting permission to use a building slated for demolition. Author Michael Daley describes how one New Jersey department made use of an acquired structure for forcible egress training. This week's installment comprises securing the building, making it suitable for training purposes, actually running the drill, and a safety briefing.
Click HERE for this week's drill.