We have several parks and schools in our district, and we started using the playground equipment as a training tool. The bigger the better.
We'll find a starting point and anchor about 200' of utility rope to it. Then we run the rope all throughout the equipment. Up a slide, down a slide, around objects and under them. This is only limited by your imagination and the size of the playground.
Try to find things that you can run the rope under that will require the member to don and doff their airpack. Also - alot of playgrounds have the little areas that are like some type of room or something with an opening that simulates a window. Run the rope through there.
Cover the masks of the members (use Glad "press-n-Seal" over the mask - it works the best) and send them through the playground, following the rope.
You'll be surprised that no matter how long they stand around and watch you string the rope through, they still get turned around or run into problems.
The other great thing is that when you go back another time to do it again, you run the rope through a different way and it's an entirely different drill.
I'll caution you on one thing though - We ran one that had about a 4' drop on it. It's not a long fall, and the members liked it because it really tested them, but you don't want anyone to get hurt so if you encounter something like this use a spotter or two.
Give it a try. It's easy and it works.
Have fun with it, and Stay Safe Brothers and Sisters.
what a great idea, using stuff that is typically in all of our communities, and the pubic relations component makes it even better, training in a public place, letting folks know that we take our job seriously and do things to simulate actual emergencies... kudos brother for sharing this. stay safe, Mike Schlags
Thanks for the comments Mike. We're all about training and going home at the end of our tour. If what we do helps you do the same then our job is complete. Try it out, and let us know how it works. Feedback helps us improve.
One caution, though. Not all playground equipment is designed to support the weight of two (or more) fully-geared adult firefighters. Make sure that any equipment you use above ground level will support the weight of the firefighters performing the drill.
This is an awesome way to do some cheap, but effective training. This can give you everything you need or will come across in a structure fire. Stairs, confined space, the unknown of what you are getting into. Heck of an idea and congrats with coming up with this. With small dept. like mine need some type of cheap training and this really meets the bill in every way. If you come up with more training like this please pass it on. Stay safe out there.