Fire training burns down the house
It’s a highly structured activity, it’s as realistic as you can get.
A donated derelict Temuka house was razed to the ground in a spectacular major training exercise on Saturday.
The exercise, which involved 35 Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) members, and seven trainers, took about six hours to complete with 23 urban crew and 12 rural crew members involved.
The urban members – Mt Cook, Twizel, Temuka, Tekapo and St Andrews brigades – entered the building in groups of four, while the rural crew, which were largely from Hinds and Willowby (in Mid Canterbury) learned how to ‘‘externally attack’’ the fire.
Regional Training Officer Mark Sollis said it was a good way for fire crew members to hone their skills.
‘‘It was a good example of an old South Canterbury house.
‘‘Safety is absolutely paramount, and this exercise tests out all the crew members’ skills.’’
Sollis said the house in Temuka, donated to Fenz by the owner for the training exercise, was furnished in order to simulate what would happen in the event of a major fire.
‘‘It’s a highly structured activity, it’s as realistic as you can get.
‘‘It’s quite an impressive sight as you could imagine.’’
Sollis said the rural crews did not traditionally carry the breathing apparatus for entering a house fire, so their role in the exercise was to treat the building from the outside.
‘‘The biggest success of the day is the turnout of people. It’s the most involved exercise we do, and it gives them a whole range of tools.’’
Sollis said such an exercise can take up to three months to prepare.
‘‘There’s a lot of paperwork to go through, and you have to pick the right property for the job,’’ he said.
‘‘We can do up to three or so of these training sessions in a year, it really depends on the availability of the houses. This one in Temuka was ideal as it didn’t have many close to it.’’
The Temuka building was donated by its owner for the purposes of the training exercise.
Crews from all over the South Canterbury region participated in a training exercise in Temuka.