I've heard of some departments doing SCBA training at a local park. They have their guys crawling up, through, around, in and out of the tubes & slides & ladders.
If you have done it what is your opinion of that training. Do you view it as effective? Do the guys like doing it since it is a little different?
Have you had any issues in regards to damaging any fire dept equipment or park equipment? That would be one of my concerns. I know that sometimes firefighters can get a little rough and aggressive. Our town paid over $140,000 for a new fancy playground set a few years ago and I would not want to cause any damages to it.
We will use anything we can! Usually if it is something outside of our "normal bounds" such as a park or other city/county facility we go to the head of that department and see what the department head says. We have had very few problems getting permission to use such facilities.
One thing that we always do is enfore to our personnel that this is NOT our property and to treat it well. You do however always run the risk of damaging something. It just happens sometimes even in the best of circumstances.
If I recall you are in a volunteer department. Any thoughts about "building your own"? Sometimes you can go to city/county yards and get old or not being used storm drains, old autos, building supplies etc and build your own "maze" behind your station or in any other approved city/county property. Sometimes if you have guys in the trades they have left-over building materials as well as 'free' labor
I.m with Jake, see if you can't find the means of having your own built, it dosen't have to happen over night,
and look over your options. Then stat from there. The one good thing, is you will have your own traing facility to use anytime you need it
Yes, we are a volunteer dept. Are are blest with a great building and equipment for a small town. We have tossed around the idea a few times on trying to build our own but as with every other dept out there, funding is tight and looking to get tighter over the next few years.
I'm always looking for new ways to do something to try to keep the guys interested and willing to train.
Actually we built a pretty cool ventilation and forced entry "prop" years ago...It was basically a small house...maybe 15 x 30 with different roof pitches (one angled, one flat), a roll up door on one side, dead bolt door, bars over windows and doors...we would put small pieces of re-bar in the lockset openings so we could use our k-12's over n over without too much cost.
John, Last fall I took my shift and our automatic aid shift through this type of training evolution. A 200' search rope appropriately knotted every 25' was played throughout the playground equipment. All personnel were in full PPE, hoods on backwards, but not on air as this was not a timed event. Teams of two from both shifts were sent to "find their way out" using the rope, although it wasn't long before the teams caught up to each other. They were told to identify their location on the line using the knots. The focus was on crew continuity, safety, communication between members and teamwork. We sent/hauled all members up the tube slide.
To answer your questions, we found it effective in all the focus points. Fun because it is different. Impressed a few future firefighters and the public also as they watched us "work". As far a damage to the equipment, there was none. Common sense will dictate if the big guy in your company will make it threw the sliding tube... Take advantage of a good training prop, and go to work at a playground. Our slide show and video may still be on the web, Google FOOLS playing, thats us.
We've done this sort of training in an inside, privately owned play area. The concept of being careful with the 'props' was impressed on all. If we'd caused any damage we would of course have paid for it to be repaired or replaced. The exercise was held at night, visibility was terrible. It was a great success. We have been told we can go back any time to repeat it.
Build your own? Here it could be regarded as an 'attractive hazard', making us liable if children played on it and were hurt. Not somethiing I'll ever agree with, but it's how the law stands. Litigation, the curse of the reasonable man. Or woman.
Tuesday night we did the playground drill at the local school district. The younger guys had a blast . some of the older vets didnt care to much. Its a workout and there are a lot of tight spots. Its great training. I`ve aiso played basketball in a level A hazmat suit on air that will get you used to working and comfertable in those babies!!!