Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The fire fighters from the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company were at it once again with finding time to hone their skills by training. For two nights (Monday & Tuesday) the KPVFC took advantage of another building in the township scheduled for demolition, this time the former Petco store on Dekalb Pike. Similar to the story last week for the training in Swedeland, opportunities like this rarely come up. While not able to conduct live fire drills, the buildings can still be used to practice skills such as: forcible entry, stretching attack lines, and ventilation. Unlike last week’s scenario that involved a residential dwelling, the former Petco store is a commercial size building that presents a wider variety of challenges for fire fighters. During both nights the crews practiced and reviewed vertical ventilation practices by cutting the roof with circular saws while under the direction of Lieutenant O’Donnell. Also occurring on both nights was advancement and operation of the 2.5” hoseline. Lieutenant DiSanto and fire fighter Durland guided the crews as they dragged the heavy and cumbersome hoseline into the building. The 2.5” hoseline is our weapon of choice for commercial building fires, different from the more frequently used 1.75” hoseline for residential dwellings.
On Tuesday additional drill stations were added as well as our mutual aid companies receiving an invitation to train with the KPVFC. Two separate forcible entry stations were set-up to simulate destructive and non-destructive entry using halligan bars with axes, circular metal cutting saws and smaller hand tools capable of “picking” a lock. These stations were led by fire fighters Camarda and Gallagher. In addition to the two drill stations on Monday and four on Tuesday, group demonstrations of using the “K” tool and cutting through a metal roll-down door for access were shown. Both nights combined for nearly eight hours of practical hands-on training that will make everyone who participated a better fire fighter. The companies at the training included: Swedesburg Volunteer Fire Company, Swedeland Volunteer Fire Company, Goodwill of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Fire Company #1 and the KPVFC. We also want to thank Upper Merion Township Deputy Fire Marshal Bill Daywalt for coordinating with the owner of the building to ensure we were granted permission to use it and that all the insurance and liability issues were satisfied.
As the unknown source of a quote in the fire service goes; “Let no man's ghost return to say his training let him down”