Monday, June 6, 2011

On Live Burn Training (You won't see this on Statter911)

Last week many bloggers were commenting on a "live burn training evolution". I put that in quotes to indicate that it may have been called 'training' but in no way represents what any decent instructor would consider proper training. You can catch Fire Critics take on the incident here. Backwards and Stupid had his take here.
 I am not going to waste your time and mine with what I think of this video. You can guess. I find the whole thing insulting and extremely dangerous. This is how people get killed. When I saw this, the nicest thing that came to my mind was "Freakin' Idiots!"
 But the real point of this post is that we see this stuff show up on YouTube way too often because the perpetrators think this stuff is cool, and not stupid, thoughtless and in some cases, criminal.
 I was exposed to another video on you tube that really struck me as presenting what it took to put on a live burn.
 So what I present to you here is a short clip from live burn training that the Wilmington, VT Fire Department put on for their members a few weeks ago. The video shows acquired structures, properly prepared and cleaned for burning. They used these structures for training over several days. Any Instructor knows what is required to do a burn in an acquired structure, an also knows it is not easy. But Wilmington is a 'far piece' from any training center with a burn building, so their options are limited.
 If you are a Firefighter, you will note that this video is not terribly exciting, but it does show proper training, carefully monitored and controlled is taking place. We get so used to fire that we often make 2 big mistakes: 1) We underestimate what can go wrong, and 2) We forget what it feels like to the newer Firefighter and don't give them time to adjust to this new sensation.
So here's the video Clip.:

 Now that's just a short three and a half minute video that shows an entry and suppression evolution. That's the end of the story. The beginning of the story is all the work it took to make that happen. There is a longer video that shows some of the setup involved to put things together for the drill. You will note this drill ran for 2 days as you watch the following clip. Now I know it's long, but it was never created for this bog or any publication purposes. It only appears today on YouTube because I asked the author to put it up there so the rest of us could learn from it. If you have the time, give it a watch.

Keep in mind these photos don't show all the time it took to clear trees and prep the building by stripping out the stuff that should not be present in a live burn. That's a hell of a lot of work. THIS is what it takes to do live burn training in a rural area. Not throwing a can of flammable liquid in a conex container.
 I'd like to thank Firefighter Melissa Elliott for breaking her presentation into two parts so that I could post it up here for a teaching moment. (I especially enjoyed the music she chose.) I can tell you that the Wilmington Fire Department has a long and proud history dating back to 1858. In these days of municipal crisis and everybody trying to make a living to support their families, the people of Wilmington Vermont can be proud of the Service and Dedication they receive from their Volunteers. These folks know their stuff and are always ready.
 It ain't all bad out there, just sayin'

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