“A lot of times people don’t have any idea what’s going on,” Rural Metro Fire Division Chief Austin Prince said.
Crews say the training exercise is meant to mimic a house fire in a controlled environment.
“They’re very realistic in the fact that we are still burning real homes that actually at one point housed somebody and they got walls, windows, and hallways,” Prince said. “We go into these things with a whole different approach. We do it safe, we do it calculated, it’s very precise.”
Not only will the experience benefit firefighters in training, but officials hope it’ll give the community a better sense of what it’s like to fight a fire.
“Of course they are escorted and they are within a reach of a doorway so they can be removed from the building,” Prince said. “It’s safely conducted.”
Prince says safety is the number one goal, which is why he wants to make sure the participant meets certain qualifications.
Those qualifications include:
1) Participant must be at least 18 years of age.
2) Must hold a current fire protection membership/contract with Rural Metro Fire (Josephine County) on their personal property.
3) Must complete a medical questionnaire that is reviewed and approved by our authorized physician.
4) Be tested to wear a 30 pound self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
5) Be outfitted with a complete set of protective gear for structure fire entry.
6) Must sign applicable liability waiver.
7) Must be able to listen and react to commands and instructions given by RM personnel while participating.
To apply, go to the Rural Metro fire – Josephine County Facebook page and send them a message including your full name, address (under current contract with Rural Metro), email address, and a contact phone number. The last day to sign up is April 8.
“With this opportunity we hope to give somebody that inside perspective so they understand what goes on,” Prince said.
Weather permitting, crews expect to conduct the live training on Saturday, April 28.