Fire department trains new volunteers

Published on Wed, Feb 5, 2014
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North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) firefighters participated in a controlled burn on the corner of Shintaffer and Lincoln roads as part of a training exercise on February 1. 

Firefighters loaded the house with old lumber, and systematically lit fires throughout the rooms so multiple teams would have the chance to assess and control the blaze.

The house was donated to the department for the training. 

“It takes around three months for us to prepare a house for this type of exercise,” said NWFR chief Joe Noonchester. “It’s really beneficial when we are able to do this, because it’s the most hands-on kind of training we can give our firefighters, and it gives our new volunteers a chance to get in there and work on a real house fire.”

NWFR firefighter Andrew Martin said it was a good opportunity to study the way fire moves, and demonstrated that by pointing out how smoke was escaping the house during one of the fire evolutions. “The smoke is all leaving the right side of the house,” he said. “That’s because the doors to the bedrooms on the left  side are closed. It’s keeping the smoke out and slowing the fire down, which could be a real advantage at night. I always close my kids’ doors.”

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