Archive 2008 - 2019

Firefighting 2019 Style

by Ken Henderson

Firefighting 2019….


Unlike the fire departments of years ago, there are many unrealized aspects of fire fighter training. Attending a few weekly training nights with HFD, I got to witness a few of the many ways they train to be ready. Each truck and company of firefighters has specific tasks to work on to be ready for that next alarm.

One night was dedicated to entrapment issues.  A building collapse could mean cutting with a torch or saw to rescue a person trapped beneath a metal structure. Even this talented group of fighters doesn’t just show up knowing how to do all this…. The instructor leads practice covering safety and use of an oxyacetylene torch for cutting heavy pieces of metal as in a collapsed building scenario.

Another night was spent at the Medway Fire Department burn trailer practicing in a container filled with thick, hot smoke and fire.  Firefighters, in full battle gear, including their Scott breathing equipment, worked in teams to gain experience in this hostile environment.  One scenario was a “firefighter down.”  The task was to locate and bring out an injured firefighter.  The training makes real the often used phase, “I’ve got your back!”

Being equipped with up to date turnout gear is a must.  In accordance with NFPA guidelines, new gear should be replaced every ten years.  Gear includes coat, pants, gloves and boots with helmets with hoods and face shields coming later. This atmosphere was like a holiday with new stuff to open… Trying on and breaking in new gear is always a highlight at the fire house.

Highlighting all areas of training would be endless yet important. Focus areas of training include hooking up to fire hydrants to establish water supply for fire suppression activities, drafting out of a body of water when there aren’t fire hydrants, and practicing setting up and climbing the ladder truck for various aerial operations.

We’ve only scratched the surface but it was evident that vigilance, teamwork, safety and above all a strong desire to serve this community has earned HFD our respect. Keep on training… we realize it’s not just pumping water, climbing ladders and riding through town on shiny red fire trucks.  It’s obvious your diligence and hard work prepares you to answer the call anytime you’re needed. Thanks.

Comments (2)

Thank you HFD, and thank you Holliston Reporter.

Henry Dellicker | 2019-03-28 05:49:43

Great idea for an article and a BIG thank you to the squad members for their dedication and readiness

Shaw Lively | 2019-03-26 12:20:30