Pictured in above photos, Manchester and Summitville firefighters enter the Putnam County live burn fire simulator, led by MFD Chief George DeShields at Saturday’s multi-county firefighter training. -Staff photos by John Coffelt
About 100 firefighters from seven departments attended the annual Multi-County Live Burn Weekend Saturday, hosted by Manchester Fire and Rescue and Summitville Volunteer Fire Department at the Coffee County fairgrounds.
Putnam County Fire Department’s live fire and vertical ventilation trainer offered firefighters the opportunity to practice interior attacks. On the top of the semi trailer setup teams experience rooftop fire conditions and while cutting vertical ventilation holes in plywood blanks.
New this year was a mayday training station, manned by Alto, Cowan, Huntland and Decherd Fire Departments. Firefighters were briefed on what information to give dispatchers. Firefighters then blacked-out their regulator masks with wax paper (to simulate a zero visibility environment) and climbed onto an obstacle with a trapdoor to simulate a burned out floor. After falling a few feet, the participants would give the mayday call. Then, feeling their way, attempt a self-rescue through a window.
Other stations included foam training, an EMS presentation and vehicle extraction training.
A firefighter looks uncertainly in the rain at a teammate’s blacked-out facemask that has been prepared to enter the mayday training simulator.
“Be sure there’s ground there,” the instructors advise Mooretown firefighter Nick Henley as he works to self-rescue himself after a blind drop through a simulated weakened floor. Chiefs Jim Weddington, Cowan FD, Daniel Meaker, Decherd FD, and David Banks, of the Alto/Oak Grove FD presented the mayday training.