Members of the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department assembled at Station 37 for a fun, challenging & competitive drill Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
Engine 1 Captain Tim Langan put together details of a course designed to refresh skills & work under pressure.
Each of the Firefighters started out in nearly full personal protective equipment (PPE) – the Nomex hood worn under the helmet and the face mask for the breathing apparatus were not used for the drill.
Members had to describe the parts & characteristics of the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) – the airpack worn by Firefighters whenever the enter an environment that has an immediate danger to life or health (referred to as an IDLH atmosphere). The SCBA was then “donned” (put on) and the Firefighter went outside to erect a 16-foot roof ladder on the side of the building. After climbing to the top of the ladder and touching the building the Firefighter had to perform a leg-lock on the ladder. The leg-lock lets a Firefighter work safely on the ladder.
From the ladder the Firefighters each had to setup a Fire Hydrant connection to Engine 1 and use the Hydrant Assist Valve that we utilize in Highland Park. After verifying a good, working connection each Firefighter pulled an Inch & 3/4 cross-lay hose line. These are also referered to as pre-connected hoses or attack lines because they are often utilized fighting fire & can be deployed quickly by one Firefighter.
After pulling the hose line Firefighters had to content with a knots station making a Bowline, a Figure Eight on a Bight and a Clove Hitch. All of this still wearing almost full PPE including Structural Firefighting Gloves. Knots are utilized often in Fire Service and being able to tie them quickly & efficiently with full gear is important.
The final part of the course was to drag a dummy using proper (and safe) carry techniques.
Each Firefighter was timed during the drill and a bit of competition emerged as the night went on. Assistant Chief Marc Robinson took home the top time. Ex-Chief’s Doug Watt & Jay Littman joined in on the fun as well.
After each round Firefighters discussed points to improve upon for the future & everyone offered both critique and encouragement throughout the night.