Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 12, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Photos: Gloucester Fire Department Using Vacant Home for Broad Range of Training Exercises
Note: If members of the media are interested in observing the training prior to its conclusion on May 20, they should call JGPR at 617-993-0003.
GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith reports that members of the Gloucester Fire Department will be continuing to train on a variety of techniques using an empty home that has been scheduled for demolition.
Firefighters have been using a home on Woodward Avenue to sharpen their knowledge of critical techniques and strategies, including search and rescue of a home, when and how to conduct ventilation and flow path control as well as approaches for breaching walls when a firefighter becomes trapped. They also practiced “long lug out” techniques, which requires a firefighter to follow the lugs on a hose line to escape a smoke-filled structure.
Use of the home, which is scheduled to be demolished, was donated by the owner for firefighter training.
“These exercises provide a rare opportunity to simulate real world scenarios in a controlled environment,” Chief Smith said. “Having a home available to us to practice these important skills and approaches is an invaluable way to ensure that our firefighters feel safe and confident in what to do should these situations arise on a call.
With the home available until May 20, the Gloucester Fire Department will spend next week working on its Rapid Intervention Team (R.I.T) training, practicing the activation of a team of firefighters that enters a building when a firefighter becomes disoriented or lost inside and sends out a mayday call.
“Every second matters in these situations,” said Deputy Chief Stephen Aiello, who oversees training for the Gloucester Fire Department. “When a Mayday call comes in, we need to be able to send help in immediately, so having an opportunity to closely simulate those scenarios is extremely important to us.”
Forty-five Gloucester firefighters have joined in the training exercises so far, with more expected to participate before the end of the program next weekend.
You can watch video of the training here.