Oak Bluffs firefighters train in live fire environment

Firefighters vent a roof during a firefighting drill on Sunday. — Photo by Rob Gatchell

Oak Bluffs firefighters practiced firefighting and rescue techniques under realistic conditions last Sunday morning, when 30 department personnel, from firefighting veterans to brand-new recruits, drilled in an East Chop house at 255 Massachusetts Avenue that was recently sold and is scheduled for demolition.

“The purpose of the drill was to expose our firefighters to live fire,” said Oak Bluffs fire chief John Rose. “The drill was extremely productive. The guys experienced conditions they hadn’t encountered before, and the new firefighters got to see the nature of fire, the different stages.”

Fires were lit in several rooms over the course of a few hours, allowing firefighters to practice techniques ranging from direct and indirect attacks to ventilation.

“In one drill, we lit a fire in the kitchen and the second floor. First the crew took out the kitchen fire, and then went upstairs while a backup team confirmed the fire was out below,” said Mr. Rose.

Mr. Rose said that even experienced firefighters learned from the training, which was optional. “I want to thank the volunteers who participated in the drill to sharpen their skills so that they can serve the community, help someone in their time of need, at a moment’s notice,” he said.