Photos, USAR

Multiple NJ Fire Departments Participate in Search and Rescue Drill

Firefighters mask up during a drill



Photos and report from Ron Jeffers

On the morning of January 27, 2019, Edgewater (NJ) volunteer firefighters hosted a multi-unit, multi-department drill at a large, vacant cinema for search and rescue purposes.

Several weeks earlier, local firefighters conducted their own drill at this location. Assistant Chief Tom Jacobson said other firefighters in the area heard about the drill and expressed interest in participating in another exercise for their respective departments. Both career and volunteer fire departments from Bergen County participated.

Units assembled at the building, where several of the cinemas were filled with blinding “smoke,” for the search and rescue exercises, using the necessary tools. In addition, there were FAST team procedures, plus CPR instructions were offered by Edgewater EMS members.
Fire departments that participated included Fort Lee, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Hackensack, Teaneck, Leonia, Ridgefield and Wood-Ridge. Teaneck’s Box 54 Club canteen truck was on had for rehab purposes and the Hackensack Mask Service Unit filled empty air bottles.

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The large cinema is planned to be demolished in the near future to make way for a mix of commercial and residential structures, which are growing all along the Hudson River waterfront from this borough south through Hudson County municipalities to Jersey City. Before the complex is demolished, firefighters are trying to make arraignments for addition training that would include roof ventilation and forcible entry, given the many doors that are available.

Firefighters walked away from the training with positive remarks about the drill’s learning experiences. As one senior officer told his young members, “Mistakes are made here.” Firefighting is a neverending business of new challenges. Learn at drills to be proficient at the real emergency.


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