Elmhurst Firefighters recently had the opportunity to train in a house scheduled for demolition on the 100 block of South Arlington. The location of the home was ideal for the fire department to conduct drills, being that it was close to the center of town and easily accessible from both fire stations. After permission was received from the property owners and Habitat for Humanity removed donated materials from the home, the fire department was then given full access to train for over a month. The training opportunity came at an ideal time, as the department just added (3) new firefighters to bring its force to full-strength.
This structure gave Elmhurst’s Firefighters an opportunity to enact real life scenarios with the ability to perform hands on demonstrations pertaining to critical aspects of their jobs. Training that was covered included building construction, ladder placement, victim rescue from second floor windows, roof ventilation, search and rescue, and rapid intervention drills (RIT). RIT drills prepare firefighters for the unexpected and unfortunate instances when they themselves get lost inside of a building or run out of air in their breathing apparatus and need to be rescued.
Another drill incorporated the City’s recently purchase of a 95-foot Tower Ladder. Streets were blocked and firefighters were positioned on the Tower Ladder as they would in real-life fire situations. This property allowed firefighters to position the ladder truck numerous ways to access the roof to ventilate, position the basket for rescue, and work confidently on steep pitched roofs.
Routine training has been regularly conducted at the fire department’s training facility located at 910 N Addison Rd. since the 1970’s. The facility was updated in 2005, when two burn rooms fed by natural gas and smoke generators were added, allowing real-life yet extremely safe simulations for training firefighters.
It is always beneficial for firefighters to train in different environments and unfamiliar settings. The Elmhurst Fire Department is grateful to the property owners for the opportunity for this training.