A frantic father flags down an arriving fire engine arriving at his home and tells a firefighter a relative is inside a structure. Smoke is pouring out of a second story window. Firefighters suit up and get their tools. They use a ladder to break through the window, enter the structure and search for the unconscious victim. They find the adult victim and carry him out through the window and down the ladder.
It’s a real-world scenario firefighters prepare for, but hope they never have to encounter. If they do, training like Thursday’s scenario at the Edmond Fire Department’s tower will help them be ready, said Fire Department Driver Luke Gregory.
Gregory organized the scenario, which played out near the Fire Department’s training facility located near the Covell-Interstate 35 interchange. After spending some time in a classroom setting, three-man crews went into action at the tower. Manufactured smoke added realism.
Gregory said the scenario is called vent, enter, isolate and search. It’s a tactic used in situations where access to the front of a building is delayed or you have a large home where a victim is likely to be located in a ground floor or second-story bedroom, he said.
Once inside the structure, firefighters isolate themselves from fire and smoke by shutting a bedroom door, allowing them to begin their search, Gregory said. They clear the room and move on to the next area.
“It’s a different tactic that doesn’t always present itself, but it’s another tool that we use,” Gregory said. “We’ve got to stay sharp.”
It’s a good drill for individuals, the command level and for teams, Gregory said. It ensures that all personnel are on the same page regarding the vent, enter, isolate and search technique, he said.
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