Under instruction from experienced trainers, new members and members of rural brigades with few turnouts are given opportunities to learn, practise and ask questions.
The old adage “rookies practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they don’t get it wrong” is one that should not be forgotten.
LPG fire simulation teaches more than just how to put out a gas bottle that is venting.
The first time the pilot light ignites the released gas, students on the fireground draw a sharp inward breath, hearts race at the noise of the explosion and the roar of the flame takes over. Anyone who has fired a large gas fired kiln or furnace will know the power and intensity of that noise. With a kiln the heat is contained within the walls of fire brick. On the training pad it is raw, it is in front of you, alive, and dangerous, as it is at a real fire.
The feeling approaching the inferno for the first time, watching the pulsing, moving glow of the flames, protected by the curtain of water splaying out of the branch in your hand, knowing that you will step right up to it, almost into its arms, is extraordinary, frightening and exhilarating at the same time.
You reach the gas cylinder, turn off the valve, and the roar stops, the light from the flame disappears and its dark, it’s all over.
Leaving a training session like that the first time, I took with me not only the knowledge of how to do a 5 person fog attack on a flaming gas cylinder and an understanding of the heat and dangers, but also an appreciation of just what we can do with the water in our hoses and the fog branch on the end of them.
Six months later it brought me great comfort during the Black Saturday fires, reducing my fear of being trapped in a burn over, knowing what a curtain of water if properly used can do. Less fear means more concentration and better outcomes. And indeed it let me successfully attack a fire I would have otherwise baulked at, which would have probably resulted in more property loss.
Read Also: From Little Things Big Things Grow