Please patronize our sponsors. Ads with links are clickable.

bar_eleg.gif (11170 bytes)

Photos by Fritz Rethage

"Building Collapse" Training

The Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department conducted "exiting a collapsed building" exercises on September 3, 2002 in a Kipp Avenue house slated for demolition. 

Prior to the training session, the training staff briefed the department on the maneuvers scheduled --
that firefighters are in the structure fighting the fire, the building partially collapses and the fighters following either a hose or life line to exit the danger. A rope bag or personal rope would have been dropped upon entering the building.

Three trainers carefully supervised the maneuvers to insure full personal safety through the exercise.  It was emphasized that this was not a speed drill or primary or secondary search mission.  The goal was to methodically go through the course, regularly informing command of their location, constant communications with their partner and changing air tanks.

To simulate smoke conditions, wax paper covered the masks of those taking the training so that there was no visibility. The house was dark (except for the flash of the camera and occasional trainers flashlight).

Obstacles included: holes were cut into the walls so that the fireman had to maneuver through exposed studs, through closets, and tunnels created with plywood debris that would simulate a ceiling collapse.   Sometimes the space was so small that the tanks had to be removed, positioned ahead of the firefighter as they crawled through the obstacles.

Sections of the floor were exposed so that the fireman had to move slowly over open beams. They had to go through a cluster of downed wiring,  as in a drop ceiling with lighting collapsing.

This training drill was used during a Firefighter's Convention and Expo in Baltimore, MD, in July 2002, and adapted by the HH Fire Department for their exercise

As viewed from the inside of the house, the training  was grueling and thorough. The fireman completing the course, and the trainers displayed highly-disciplined  precision and professionalism.


[Second group of photos]

22d.jpg (40451 bytes)
Briefing the department and providing practical tips on the maneuvers.

04c.jpg (20162 bytes)  26d.jpg (20445 bytes)

57c.jpg (34423 bytes)

31d.jpg (21288 bytes)  30d.jpg (33899 bytes)
Determining how to pass through the obstacles with zero visibility.

33d.jpg (16060 bytes)  35d.jpg (18845 bytes)

37d.jpg (25810 bytes)
Using tools to help crawl over open beams.

52d.jpg (24489 bytes)  53d.jpg (26127 bytes)  54d.jpg (25335 bytes)
Edging through a cluster of downed wiring that would represent a ceiling collapse.

14c.jpg (22136 bytes)  16c.jpg (18035 bytes)  26c.jpg (23027 bytes)
Tools and air pack first, getting through, then strapping the air packs back on.

31c.jpg (30107 bytes)
Changing air packs in mid-exercise.

[Second group of photos]

Thank you for visiting our hometown.  Come back soon!
[The Gazette Newspaper] [Contact Webmaster] [Policy Statement] [Advertising information]  
©Copyright 1998-2008. All rights reserved.
All photographs used in this web-site are copyrighted and property of the photographer.
Photographs used herein are on loan and are not public domain 
Site created and maintained by
The Iron Horse Advertising & Marketing Co. Inc.
in collaboration with SAK Information Systems, LLC

The Gazette Newspaper Movies Stuff