Go inside intense training as region’s 1st responders tackle house-burning scenarios
Published 12:42 am Thursday, April 20, 2023
MAURICEVILLE — More than 40 firefighters from Orange and Jefferson counties had a chance to hone their skills at a training course recently.
The training included a chance to go inside a vacant home that was on fire, run a fire hose and rescue a human-sized mannequin as well as covering topics such as water supply and pump operations.
Orange County Emergency Services District 4 Capt. Kelly Moore initiated the training, which began in Mauriceville at a donated structure off Twin Acres Road. He coordinated with Billy Moore, president of Orange County Firemen’s Association, to see if others would want to take part in the training exercise.
Multiple agencies took part in the training, including Orange, Pinehurst, Deweyville, Orange County, Groves and Nederland.
Billy Moore explained that barrels with hay were laced in the house and set afire for the control burn. This allowed participants a chance to be in a real life situation wearing bunker gear.
There were mannequins weighing 250 pounds, thus allowing the firefighters a chance to perform a rescue and triage the situation.
The training among different departments allows the firefighters to get a feel for working together and for the equipment.
Billy Moore said in some areas of Orange County there are no fire hydrants, so a portable tank is brought in to supply water for firefighting.
“But in the case of a large fire, the firefighters need to know how to maintain the flow of water and who has the big tankers that can respond.
Then there are areas where the fire hydrants have a low capacity, thus not the best choice for use.
Billy Moore envisions more training opportunities for multiple agencies to participate in because, in the end, it benefits everyone.
Billy Moore is working on pre-planning with local businesses in order to give them an emergency contact and to draw out a plan/layout of the buildings, while noting where fire hydrants are located.
Later the pre-planning information will be placed in a database, making it easier and more efficient ahead of a disaster.