HASLETT - New construction can pose new challenges for firefighters. The Meridian Fire Department is facing those challenges head on with training sessions like the one today.
In Haslett, on Porter Ave. there are a string of houses that were donated for this very purpose. Captain Bill Richardson says that training opportunities like these are beneficial for the department because not only is it real construction, it is new construction.
"We have training props so we can do this, however this is more realistic than what we can use for training props," Captain Richardson said. "We can smoke the building up like we did today with our smoke machine, and it allows us to have a more real atmosphere of training than using just our station."
Captain Richardson says that today was basic fire training, which means jumping out of windows, running into a smoking building and more.
“We did a vent-enter-search drill, we did a transitional attack drill, we spray water into the structure to bring the temperatures down to make it more tenable for any occupants in the building," Captain Richardson said. "As soon as we get more crews on scene we enter the structure, do primary search and do fire control."
The department does at least some type of training everyday, but it can be difficult depending on the amount of calls received that day.
"We're running about 14 to 15 calls a day right now, so a lot of times training is interrupted but we do some sort of training everyday," Captain Richardson said.
The Meridian Township Fire Department is comprised of three different stations. The Central Station located at Central Park and Okemos Rd. and is often the busiest Captain Richardson says, but all three stations work to help one another.
"We all are always going into each others districts," Captain Richardson said. "Pretty much every day we'll have our ambulances out on calls."
Captain Richardson enjoys training sessions like these because it can offer more to the department than an everyday session.
"I think anytime we can get some live fire training it's fun to be able to go in and get back to the basics of what we do," Captain Richardson said. "And get to play with all of the tools that we have, and re-familiarize ourselves with our equipment."