Fire dept. planning live training session

BY WILLIAM MOORE wmoore@gulfcoastnewspapers.com
Posted 8/5/13

BAY MINETTE – Mike Minchew is looking for people who want to walk (or crawl) into a burning house. And folks are clamoring for the chance.

But this won’t be any house fire. This will be a controlled burn — a training exercise for area …

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Fire dept. planning live training session

Posted

BAY MINETTE – Mike Minchew is looking for people who want to walk (or crawl) into a burning house. And folks are clamoring for the chance.

But this won’t be any house fire. This will be a controlled burn — a training exercise for area firemen.

“I’ve already got some guys from Perdido and some other departments interested,” said the Bay Minette Fire Chief. “Instead of doing it right now when the heat index is so high, we’re going to wait until it cools off.”

The additional time will also give Minchew a chance to tell other fire chiefs about the invaluable training exercise. In a controlled environment, fire fighters will get a chance experience real fire situations.

“They will encounter everything there that they would in a real fire call,” said Minchew. “We’ll do fire knock down, search and rescue, ventilation, ladders, pretty much everything they could be required to do in a fire.”

The house in question sits at the intersection of McMillan Avenue and Petty Lane. The original structure is clad in bricks, while additions have clapboard siding. Those differences will be helpful during the training, offering different scenarios and showing firemen how different constructions burn.

During the training session, portions of the house will be set on fire and fire crews allowed to go inside and battle the blaze. After they have knocked down the flames, they exit the building. The same spot is allowed to flame up again so another group can go inside. Similar scenarios are then done as the roof catches fire.

For the search and rescue, a life-size dummy can be placed inside. The fire fighters then not only have to deal with the blaze, they have to find the ‘victim’ and carry them to safety.

While a firm date has not been set for the training session, Minchew is trying to get as many departments as possible to take part. Any department wanting to participate should call Minchew at the Bay Minette Fire Department at 251-580-1617.