Mahwah Fire Department Battles Simulated Blaze
Practice fighting flames in fully-involved buildings helps firefighters prepare for the 1,000 calls they answer each year, fire officials say
All five Mahwah Fire Department fought a controlled fire Wednesday night as a way to prepare for real-life structure fires that get out of control very quickly.
The training, held at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute on Campgaw Road, focused on hose advancement and fire suppression in totally involved rooms of a home or a small warehouse spaces, Assistant Chief Brad Stio said.
A fire simulator at the Institute “has fire start on the ground and when our firefighters come in with a hose line it grows enough for the fire to go up to the ceiling and roll over their heads,” Stio explained. “It is intense training, but any fire could turn into this quickly and by our firefighters being able to see it in a controlled situation it keeps us calm when the real thing happens.”
While training at the Institute, the MFD uses facilities like the Life Safety Complex, Stio said. The building is used for live fire, search, vent, laddar and rescue training, he said.
The MFD uses drills like this to both train new members and re-train experienced firefighters. Thanks to the training, “when Mahwah needs us, [firefighting] stays second nature in our minds,” Stio said.
The Mahwah Fire Department responds to an about 1,000 calls a year, which averages out to about two calls a day, Stio said.