Menlo Park and Fremont firefighters participated in intensive live fire training this past week at the Baylands Structural Collapse Training Center.
A decrease in real fires due to public education, improved building codes and fire suppression systems limit the amount of live fire experience firefighters get.
The has a live fire training simulator and a flashover simulator that put the firefighters into controlled but realistic emergency situations. The training helps them recognize and react to danger signs as a fire progresses.
"A flashover occurs in a structural fire when everything in a room reaches the ignition temperature and everthing in the room ignites" says Fremont Training Officer Vic Taugher. "There are signs that you see before that happens."
"When a door opens, flames will lick towards the oxygen that enters the room and the house can erupt into a fireball" said Taugher.
"We are training these guys to recognize those conditions and use nozzle techniques to lower the temperature of the atmosphere and not flashover" continued Taugher.
A second simulator represented a single family structure in which nozzle technique and hose management were also practiced.
The training spanned from Tuesday to Friday.
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