ORLEANS – Normally members of the Orleans Fire Department have to go to Barnstable once a year for training. This year, the regional fire academy came to them.
The department held live fire training at the site of the town's former public works headquarters on Bay Ridge Lane last week. The Barnstable County Fire Academy brought its 53-foot training trailer to the site for all of the department members to use. The Academy's burn building was demolished not long ago due to PFAS issues.
Fire Chief Geof Deering said the trailer can be used flexibly to recreate any number of real-life scenarios.
"A basement fire, a second floor fire, it's all very moveable," he said.
Last Wednesday (Sept. 21), the last of the department's crew underwent training on how to move a firehose in and out of a building, search and rescue skills and how to properly communicate using self-contained breathing equipment.
A propane tank helped produce fire inside the trailer, where Deering said the temperature reached 350 degrees. The trailer also uses environmentally safe theater smoke to further replicate conditions in an active fire situation.
This year marks the fire department's first time training on the trailer, which Deering said the county academy has been using for the past year and a half. Brewster Firefighter Dan Kimball, who was onsite in Orleans last week as a trainer with the fire academy, said the trailer is transported to departments across the Cape for training as requested. After Orleans, the trailer was scheduled to go to Sandwich, he said.
Deering said firefighters were also trained on how to use the department's new fire engine. The ability to conduct training in town has been a welcome change for the department, he said.
"Before we would take half of the department and go for the day, and the next day we'd go with half of the department," he said.
The Eastham Fire Department also participated in last week's training with Orleans, Deering said.
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