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News :: Just a drill: Large house fire offered variety of training opportunities
· 7:01pm March 3rd, 2013
Smoke from the large house fire billowed high above Vinton Saturday morning, forming a large black cloud visible from miles away.
But nobody called the firefighters.
They were already there.
Mark and Kimberly Noe offered their large old +house on 6th Street to the firefighters for a training exercise. The firefighters spent much of the morning conducting training drills before burning down the house.
VFD member Josh McGowan is one of the department's training officers. He said Saturday's exercise offered a few training opportunities that firefighters do not have often, including live-smoke and live-fire search and rescue. The event also offered some firemen a chance to use the aerial ladder to reach the roof of the house, and to stand on that ladder while cutting the roof with a powerful chainsaw designed to cut through nails and shingles.
Virtually all area fire departments had members participate: Vinton, Canton-Shellsburg, Garrison, Cedar-Mount Auburn, Van Horne, Keystone and Newhall were among the participants.
In addition to the training for the firemen who went inside buildings, the event also included training for those whose job is to make sure that those firefighters who enter buildings are safe. Long-time fireman Paul Schellhase of Garrison, kept track on a clipboard which members of his department entered the house, and when they exited. Vinton Safety Officer Dennis Bramow on one occasion cautioned the Noes and other spectators that if the brick chimney in the center of the home were to collapse, it could knock out an exterior wall.
McGowan said that current regulations require firemen to participate in 24 hours of training each year. The VFD, he said, has two training sessions each month for its members.
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