On May 18, 2021, Niverville Fire & EMS started conducting essential training using allocated space on 4th Avenue South. Training sessions will result in a temporary street closure in front of 87 3rd Street as required. The training will repeat every second Tuesday of the month until fall when the house is scheduled for demolition.
Niverville Fire & EMS arranged the use of the training space after a local real estate developer, Luke Wiebe, gifted the use of the house to the fire department to train in.
“The house was built in the 50s and is planned to be knocked down in the fall, but the developer offered it to the department first to see if we could use it until he tears it down,” said Jason Hudson, local firefighter with Niverville Fire & EMS.
The fire department will create artificial smoke in the house for training in smoky conditions. No fire will be used in the training and the smoke is not harmful to firefighters or the environment.
“As with everything we do, safety is paramount and, from the top down in the department, we take this very seriously and everyone is briefed even before we leave the hall,” Hudson says. “The smoke machine is just like you would see at a concert or dance. In a house like this, in town, we will never use any live fire. We simulate fire in a ‘smoked out’ scenario by placing a bright red light in different locations. Also, because the house is going to be torn down we are able to enter the house with charged lines, filled with water and ready to spray.”
The opportunity to train in this type of environment is very valuable for fire and emergency personnel.
“The training is for all firefighters,” says Hudson. “For the newer members this is an opportunity to be in a ‘smoked out’ situation for the first time, or to be on a roof and do ventilation with a chainsaw. For the more veteran members, we are able to perform some advanced scenarios like victim rescues, firefighter self-rescue, downed firefighter rescue, rapid intervention team deployment, full interior sweep/search, locating the fire quickly, roof ventilation, basement fires, to name a few. This means we’ll have the opportunity to improve on a lot of skills that we have in our toolbox, but don’t necessarily use all the time, and in a controlled environment.
“By the time we are done with the house, we will have performed countless scenarios and learned things that are a huge part of the way the department does things each time the tone drops for calls.”
Niverville Fire & EMS personnel thank the community for their understanding. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.