Deputy Platoon Chief Marvin Pigeon shows 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa Operations Services (4 CDSB Ops Svcs) Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Richard Raymond and 4 CDSB Ops Svcs Regimental Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Lindsay Parsons how to use the fire hose. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
The fire tower was installed in the spring and was first used for training on June 6. It can be altered for different types of scenarios. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
New Grn fire tower enhances training
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Personnel with the National Defence Fire Service at Garrison Petawawa will be able to further their training through the use of a newly installed fire tower.
The large metal tower has been erected with the sole goal of being able to set it on fire or fill it with smoke, allowing firefighters to sharpen their skills in relative safety. It is the first piece of large-scale training equipment that the Garrison plans to install within the next five years or so. This will give the firefighters a specific and properly tailored spot for them to train.
On June 6, the initial trial run was completed by 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa Operations Services (4 CDSB Ops Svcs) Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Richard Raymond and 4 CDSB Ops Svcs Regimental Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Lindsay Parsons.
Decked with radios and self-contained breathing apparatus, they were sent into the building to rescue two simulated victims as ‘smoke’ billowed and blinded them, allowing them to test the building. The objective of this was twofold - it christened the building and gave them both a taste of what firefighters experience on the job.
“It gives them an understanding of what we go through,” said Deputy Fire Chief Garry Clement.
Though neither are firefighters by trade, they appreciated the experience.
It wasn’t an easy thing. Under the supervision of a veteran firefighter, they had to climb several stories to find their victims while carrying up to 100 pounds of gear and dragging a hose weighing between 50 and 150 pounds.
“It is very difficult to see,” said CWO Parsons. “It would be very hard to find a casualty in there. You would have to do your feeling with your hands and feet and be mindful not to trip or walk where you shouldn’t.”
He admits it was more difficult to do than he had originally anticipated, something that LCol Raymond agreed with.
“What I appreciated is experiencing what these guys go through,” he said. “Not just here at the training tower, but every time they respond.”
The fire tower can be altered for different types of scenarios. It is comprised of three stories and an attic, and it can be used to rappel off. It is estimated that the tower will be used for training about eight times a month.
Similar towers have been used at other military bases.
“If they haven’t got it, they are getting it,” said Clement.