Tonight’s training focused on vertical ventilation, that is cutting holes in roofs to let smoke and fire gasses out of a burning building. The training focused on several key components to getting this task accomplished; including, aerial ladder work, ground ladders, roof ladders, ventilation saws, and cutting with axes. Lieutenants and Captains drilled with crews of firefighters to get a properly sized vent hole cut into the roof while a small fire lit inside the garage provided the smoke that made conditions on the roof as realistic as possible. A proper ventilation hole should be 4′ square, so a tape measure and spray paint was used on the roof to outline a 4′ square hole for the firefighters to compare their cut holes against. This is a very physically demanding task for even a well conditioned firefighter, furthermore it is hard on the equipment as well. Specially designed “souped up” chainsaws are the tool of choice but the firefighters always have to be prepared to break out the old school flat head firemen’s axe to complete the task should the saw suffer a mechanical malfunction. Characteristics of roof construction were discussed as well as the need to complete the hole and get off the roof as soon as possible. Everybody was tired after this weeks training, but there were smiles all around!!!

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