Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lakeside Personnel Train On The New Heartland Roof Ventilation Prop

Firefighter Shawn McKenna watches on as Fire Reserves Brent Watte makes a cut and David Csik backs him up.
 As part of standard tactics during battle with fire inside a structure, firefighters are called upon regularly to cut holes in the roof to allow smoke and super-heated gases to escape. As fire progresses in an enclosed building so do the byproducts of combustion including, smoke, heat and toxic gases. With nowhere to escape, these super-heated gases quickly combine to create a deadly atmosphere with little to no visibility. Firefighters refer this environment as Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH). With modern protective clothing and breathing apparatus, firefighters are able to enter IDLH atmospheres but these conditions seriously hamper rescue and fire suppression efforts. One answer to this problem is the coordinated and systematic removal of the smoke, heat and gases through roof ventilation.

Simultaneous evolutions on the new prop.
 On Saturday July 9, 2011, a total of ten Lakeside Fire personnel took advantage of a new roof ventilation prop at the Thomas H.Owen Training Facility. This recently completed addition to the Heartland facility, located at 1301 N. Marshall Avenue in El Cajon, is designed to allow firefighters the opportunity to practice ventilation techniques on simulated roof structures. 
A 10/12 pitch, 6/12 pitch and flat roof.
 The two pitched roofs and one large flat roof use the same construction methods and materials as typical residential and commercial buildings in our area. Built right on ground level, the roofs provide for a safer training environment as well as easier access for reassembling following each training evolution. 

Louvered commercial ventilation holes.

The on-duty crew from Lakeside's Blossom Valley fire station ( Engine 26s) led the training exercise including seven Lakeside Reserve Firefighters through the proper execution of various roof ventilation techniques. The new prop made it possible for all personnel to get plenty of important hands-on practice with ventilation tools including the chain saw and fire axe.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Chuck Palmore, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: Engineer John Eastlick, Lakeside Fire District

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