Please patronize our sponsors. Ads with links are clickable.

bar_eleg.gif (11170 bytes)

Photos by Fritz Rethage
Posted March 10, 2003

Fireman Down
[Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department]

[Group 2 Photos]

"The building collapsed.  I am trapped with two victims.  I am at the end of the hose. Heavy smoke.  I am running out of air.  Help.  My location is a ... ".

Then there is that dead quiet that no radio call can reach; measured only by the steady   beep -  beep - beep of the unmoving air pack.

The trainer calls out "1 minute"!

In the distance, you can hear the "Fast Team" fireman's tools bang the concrete floor and walls, exploring the dark as they move slowly along the hose.  The hose takes them to a small opening that they must crawl through to enter an unknown space. After a quick search, they discover that they must break through another wall to reach the victims in the next room.

As the trainer calls out the amount of time that has elapsed, one can sense the urgency in the team's voices and actions.  There was a steady rescue effort -- without panic --  but with great determination and professionalism.

The squad breaks through the wall, discovers and retrieves three limp bodies, and pulls them back through the confusion to safety.

These training exercises were conducted Sunday, March 9, 2003 at the Boulevard Shell Station slated for demolition.  Hasbrouck Heights and Wood-Ridge Fire Department teams participated in three types of exercises:  (1) primary search and rescue, (2) fireman locates victim but is trapped inside a room, and (3) fireman trapped with two victims inside a blocked room.

The building doors and windows were boarded up.  Doors were blocked and debris was selectively placed. Wax paper was inserted into the fireman's mask to simulate visual conditions.  Firefighters were in full "turnout gear" weighing over 60 pounds. Several trainers closely monitored each team to insure personal safety, that correct procedures were executed, and that the training objectives were being met.

At the conclusion of each teams drill, an evaluation was given by the trainers who provided details, clues and tips to improve effectiveness and survivability in dangerous situations.


[Group 2 Photos]

a16.jpg (35656 bytes)
Firefighters were briefed on the exercises.

30.jpg (20558 bytes)
Ready to face the unknown.

Firefighters practice basic primary search and rescue techniques.
14.jpg (15980 bytes)  31.jpg (25769 bytes)  05.jpg (20508 bytes)

02.jpg (38831 bytes)  12.jpg (18408 bytes)

08.jpg (24978 bytes)

33.jpg (24276 bytes)  09.jpg (43174 bytes)

10.jpg (36233 bytes)
"Be prepared for the unexpected" -- the trainers locked the exit door.

In one exercise, once the victim was located, the exit door was then blocked trapping the fireman, separating the fire team and creating a rescue of the rescue scenario.
50.jpg (36248 bytes)  36.jpg (19363 bytes)

a04.jpg (28552 bytes)

39.jpg (20397 bytes)  54.jpg (23760 bytes)
Another egress was found and the victim and firefighter were pulled through to safety.
    59.jpg (20421 bytes)   61.jpg (23595 bytes)

  63.jpg (33347 bytes)

Breaking through the wall to rescue the firefighter and victim.   When appropriate, the trainers would stop the action once the point was made.  This allowed the wall to be used again by another team.
a08.jpg (22171 bytes)  a11.jpg (27530 bytes) 

[Group 2 Photos]


Councilman and Fire Commissioner Justin A. DiPisa (under the very watchful eyes of senior firemen) has an opportunity to get some hands-on training experience.

42.jpg (24750 bytes)  45.jpg (27667 bytes)  47.jpg (19453 bytes)

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