By: Lieutenant William Schnaekel
4th Battalion Relief, C-Shift
When not responding to emergency incidents, your Fairfax County Firefighters spend a large portion of time training and preparing to handle a variety of emergencies. This is accomplished in an assortment of environments to include classroom and hands-on.
Recently Fire Station 38, West Centreville, C-Shift took advantage of an apartment unit being remodeled to conduct some nondestructive, hands-on training at a local apartment complex. We explained our intentions and asked the property manager for permission to conduct the training – which was kindly given.
The crew used this unique opportunity to perform several different tasks that will prove very useful in the event of an actual fire at this apartment complex. Firefighters were challenged to estimate the length of fire hose it would take to reach the apartment and then physically deploy the line. They also judged ladder lengths and would then grab the correct ladders and place them to a bedroom window and the balcony.
While this type of training may not seem exciting, it served a valuable purpose in allowing our firefighters the chance, under non-emergency conditions, to become familiar with the complex, the layout of a typical apartment, the length of ladder needed to reach windows/balconies and the length of fire hose needed.
For us this was an invaluable training and attention to detail that could save time, and potentially lives, if a fire were to occur in that complex one day!