Bright Tanker and Pumper, fully crewed, left the station, ambling around town waiting for the pager message. All we knew was it would be a real fire exercise and we were to respond as if it were a real call out. Debates were had as to where and what it would be.
Eventually the call came in... car fire, fully involved and the location. Bets were won.
Radio traffic flowed as the two crews turned out. For one person in our crew it was the closest thing to a real incident he'd had, having not yet done his min skills, so it was a great opportunity to answer his questions of what to expect and what to consider on the way eg Sizeup and RECEO.
Up on the hill above the industrial estate in Bright, fire glowed in the night. Arriving on the scene we discovered two cars, fully involved, the result of a "collision". The guys did a great job setting them up realistically!
A search of the scene resulted in a "casualty" being found, which was pulled clear, appropriate first aid administered and ambulance attendance requested. You have to love those hardworking manikins, the things we put them through!
Before we got stuck in with hoses we had the opportunity to empty a number of out of date fire extinguishers on the fires. We've seen them work brilliantly on small fires but realized they are ineffective on well established ones.
Like many rural brigades, callouts are few and far between, so the opportunity to really experience the nature of fire and the effect different applications of water i.e. fog or jet, foam or no foam, are rare too. An exercise like a simulated car fire is an invaluable experience. There is no trauma of real victims being involved and the fire can be reignited, to give more people a go on the hose.
I am always amazed at how easily a "young" fire is extinguished and how difficult it is to kill an established one where the heat is deep seated. It's a constant reminder of the fire triangle - heat, fuel, oxygen.
The exercise was also a good chance for our newly appointed 3rd Lieutenant to taste life as an officer and being IC.
With the cars fully extinguished, the "incident" was closed down and the crews headed back to the station to debrief.
A great exercise, spectacular, interesting and a great learning opportunity.
Note: dangerous and toxic materials were removed from the cars prior to ignition.