Gresham and Sandy firefighters take on live-fire training exercise
Gresham Fire and Emergency Services capped a week of live-fire training with a joint effort alongside the Sandy Fire District Thursday afternoon, Feb. 1, at a home scheduled for demolition on Southwest Sturges Lane.
Rather than tear down the home in the normal fashion, the family reached out to Gresham Fire to offer it as a training donation. The property was perfect because there was a nearby water supply and ample space between the home and nearby structures.
"Live fire training is difficult to do," said Capt. Eric Byrne, Gresham Fire's training officer. "We don't have dedicated burn rooms in Gresham, so donations are always appreciated. This allows us to go into a house we aren't used to and put fires out."
The department got a lot of use out of the structure. Last week, arson investigators went into the home to figure out how test fires were started, while this week was used by several crews working on containing blazes. At the end of the day the firefighters made sure everything had been put out.
The training was focused on the Gresham crews integrating the 14 new firefighters sworn in during a ceremony a few months back. Of course, the training was useful for the veteran firefighters as well.
"We start the fires in the bedrooms with wood pellets, and then have the different groups knock it down," Byrne said. "We rotate people to new tasks each time."
Many in the community came to watch, take photos and meet the firefighters. Little kids enjoyed exploring the fire engines and getting sticker badges.