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Photos: Firefighters Train for Combat

Menlo Park and Fremont firefighters train in the burn box to retain skills.

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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