THE HEAT IS ON: LCC Firefighter training includes controlled burns
Firefighter training is not complete until a real fire is experienced. So that’s what LCC Fire Academy students did on Friday, Nov. 6 and Monday, Nov. 9.
With the use of special burn chambers, the LCC Fire Academy can set controlled fires to simulate different scenarios.
“What (the chamber) does is it simulates a house fire,” said LCC Fire Academy student Matt Gerow. “We watch the stages of the fire and back it down. We consider this a science experiment. … We’re not actually putting this out.”
Instead of extinguishing the fire, students take turns using special hoses to control the fire to better understand how it behaves.
“We have unique hoses and nozzles,” instructor Pete Zamora said. “We let (the fire) go and it burns, and then we squirt a little water on it and bring it back down. … (The students) control it and actually see what the water does to the fire.”
Once inside the chamber, students go through three rotations using the nozzles to control the fire.
“The goal isn’t to extinguish the fire, but to observe it,” said student Steve Davich.
“It’s exciting,” Gerow said. “It’s fun. It really gets your energy going. It’s kind of like going into the ninth inning of a baseball game.”
The burns take place around 12 weeks into the semester-long program. Students who complete the program will have Firefighter I and II certification.