On Wednesday, August 23rd, Oyster Bay Fire Department members assembled for their monthly drill. This week’s topic was the use of the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) and Search Rope. The rope is used by firefighters at commercial building fires. Because of the different types of occupancies used in commercial buildings, firefighters can become disoriented and lost inside. The search rope is attached to a permanent stationary object outside of the building and deployed by the Officer of the team. The rope is 200ft long and is 5/8 inches thick. This enables the firefighters to easily find their way out by following the rope back to the way they entered the building. During the training, members were given face pieces that were painted black or covered with duct tape to prevent them from seeing. This was done to simulate a heavy smoke condition commonly found at commercial fires. The members were under the supervision of Chiefs and other Officers during the training. The members were divided up into teams and practiced entering a building, following the rope up to a second level, and, finding and rescuing a downed fireman
by locating them from the sound of their PASS alarm (a high pitched chirping sound). The members learned how to turn the straps of the Scott Pak into a harness so they could drag their comrades to safety. Afterwards, there was a question and answer session. The drill lasted about 2 hours.