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Photos by Fritz Rethage ·
Posted October 31, 2003
Live Fire Exercise
[Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department]
[Middletown Township Volunteer Fire
Department Training Academy]
On Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. on
October 26, 2003, the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department went "out of service" to
conduct "live fire training" at the Middletown Township Volunteer Fire
Department Training Academy. The community was covered by the Wood-Ridge Fire
Department, until the HHFD returned at 6:00 p.m. About a third of the department
participated and traveled to the Academy with Engine #1, Engine #2, Rescue, EMS #2 and the
Chief's SUV. Firemen from Wood-Ridge and Hackensack Fire Departments also participated.
Training was focused establishing command, setting up multiple teams, putting out fires,
search & rescue, venting roofs, etc. During the day-long drill, trainers
set several fires in rapid succession. As soon as one fire was extinguished, another
was set. Occasionally, several fires were going at the same time.
Several senior firefighters got practice performing the "command" position.
At times, the trainers would take "off-line" firefighters into the
burning structure so they could observe the activities unfold.
The training was so active, that the HHFD consumed its inventory of the compressed air
used in the Scott Packs. The Academy re-charged the air tanks so that the training
Trainers closely monitored each firefighter during each exercise, to insure personal
safety, that correct procedures were executed, and that the training objectives were being
Probationary and junior department members in red helmets were not permitted in the
burning building, but got lots of support experience by replacing firefighters Scott Air
Packs on the fly, dragging hoses, getting tools, etc. Junior members were
only allowed to tour inside the structure when all fires were extinguished.
The Academy burns Class "A" materials to provide as close to realistic
environment as possible to train firefighters for real-life, high temperature fires in
smoke filled environments. The concrete block "smokehouse" facilitates
multiple companies working together under both light and heavy smoke and fire conditions
-- and has two sections with a bi-level single family dwelling mockup on one side, and a
split ranch single family dwelling on the other side -- both full basement, plus a garage
The Academy is certified by the NJ Division of Fire Safety, and provides comprehensive
firematic training for firefighters in New Jersey. Middletown Township Fire
Department is the worlds largest volunteer fire department with 11 companies and about 600
June 1, 2003 training at this facility [Group 1][Group 2]
Group 2] Smokehouse
HHFD head trainer setting up another exercise
Chief #2 observing the fire scene.
Jerry (key academy trainer), kept our department working hard.
As soon as one fire was extinguished, he would restart the fire again.
Keeping the water pressure steady
Refilling a fire extinguisher
Refilling the Scott Air packs with compressed air
[Go to Group 2] Smokehouse