On Sunday September 25, the Oyster Bay Fire Department through the generosity of the Cold Spring Harbor Labs held a training exercise at a house slated for demolition in Laurel Hollow. The house is owned by the labs and is being demolished to make way for new additions to the Cold Spring Harbor Labs property off of Route 25A.
During the first evolutions firefighters simulated that they were responding to a reported house fire. Oyster Bay Firefighters responded on Tower Ladder 554 and Squad 558. The members on Ladder 4 performed the task of truck work. They forced entry to the dwelling and searched for victims as well as fire. Squad 8 went to work as the engine company. Members upon arrival stretched a hose line to the front door and awaited confirmation of a fire from the truck teams inside the building. The engine company did not have to worry about finding a water source in this evolution because there was no live fire or smoke used during the training. Members participated with covering over their masks to hinder their vision to simulate the way it would be given a smoke condition in a live setting. The engine company then advanced a hose line into the structure maneuvering it around obstacles such as appliances and furniture to the designated fire room. Officers who were on scene observing the actions taken by the firefighters then critiqued the evolution.
The second evolution was based around firefighter survival. Firefighters practiced breaching walls for the means of egress. This is done by firefighters when conditions in their current location are deteriorating and they must quickly free themselves from the area. Firefighters practiced techniques for breaking through sheetrock walls, checking conditions in the room they are breaching into, and finally movement through the hole made in the wall for egress, In this evolution firefighters had to profile in order to fit through. This meant that firefighters had to remove their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) from their back leaving it connected to their face piece and in a controlled manner maneuver themselves through the wall and into the safer atmosphere. The skill of breaching walls is often not practiced hands-on, which made this exercise worthwhile for all.
The third evolution dealt with roof operations. Firefighters were able to practice such cuts as the 7-9-8 cut and the trench cut. The 7-9-8 cut is used on residential and commercial roofs to open up a large area for t! he release of heat and smoke from the structure. The trench cut is used to stop the progress of fire. The cut is usually about 24 inches in width and 48 inches in length. This cut is used in coordination with the engine company. While the truck company is performing this cut the engine company is standing by with a hose line on the roof to stop any progress of fire. Firefighters on the roof also reviewed safety measures that should always be taken while cutting including Eye and respiratory protection and communication with others on the roof.
The fourth evolution encompassed all previously practiced tasks, however the introduction of an artificial smoke condition kept firefighters on their toes. All members who participated benefited from this outing and will be able to better understand the tasks that need to be completed at a fire scene in the future.