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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Firefighters get ready for 15th Annual Wildland Training

For the 25th consecutive year, firefighters from fire departments throughout the San Bernardino valley will be participating in the San Bernardino County Fire Training Officers' Association's wildland training exercise. The training focuses on wildland urban interface fire operations including structure defense techniques, resource utilization, equipment deployment, structure triage, safety, communications, and tactical priorities. The training includes a realistic 4-hour training exercise. This type of training is an excellent example of regionalized integrated fire service operations.

When faced with a wildfire, firefighters employ a technique called "bump and run". This is where a strike team of five fire engines will enter a threatened or burning neighborhood and deploy at five consecutive homes. The fire engine backs into the driveway of a home and firefighters quickly assess their surroundings. If the home has defensible space and firefighters feel it can be defended, they deploy hoses and work to push the approaching flames around the to the next home. They return to their engine and move to the next home furthest down the line and so on. This leapfrogging allows firefighters to protect a larger number of homes with a smaller amount of resources.

The training is designed for engine company personnel and Strike Team/Task Force leaders. "This training is an important annual event and allows our local firefighters to train together in a realistic environment, sharpening their skills in preparation for the upcoming high fire hazard months of summer and fall" said CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Tim McClelland.