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Monday, May 6, 2013

Firefighters’ 27th annual Wildland Training Exercises

For the 27th consecutive year, firefighters from fire departments throughout the San Bernardino valley and mountains will be participating in the San Bernardino County Fire Training Officers’ Association’s wildland training exercises. The training focuses on wildland urban interface fire operations including structure defense techniques, resource utilization, equipment deployment, structure triage, safety, communications, and tactical priorities. Additionally, the training includes a 1500 foot hose lay, shelter deployment and MAST training in a realistic 4-hour training exercise.

As we have seen in the last several days, fast moving interface fires can threaten homes and property very rapidly. This training will enhance the firefighters capability to work together to defend the residents and properties of San Bernardino County.

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 away from the structure. Then as the firefighters push the flames around the home to the next, 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 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.

There will be no live fire training at this event. The exercise will be conducted at the Forest Lawn Scout Reservation 29485 Hook Creek Road, Cedar Glen 92321 between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, May 7,8, and 9, 2013.