October 3, 2022
Puslinch Fire and Rescue Services (PFRS) conducted a live-fire training exercise at an acquired structure on Wellington Road 34 on July 17, 2021. The owner of the property, Ridgeview Homes of Kitchener, made the structure available to PFRS several weeks ago allowing the department to conduct several other training exercises in the structure prior to the live fire.
“As a department, we’re continually training in order to maintain and further develop our skills as firefighters. Having a structure like this one gives us a uniquely valuable opportunity to conduct more realistic hands-on training,” said Fire Chief, Luis Gomes.
Before the department can conduct live-fire training in an acquired structure, the department must first complete a number of compliance and regulatory sign-offs—most of which have do with firefighter safety, but also include community safety and impact, environmental impact, and communication with other agencies, to name only a few. Health & Safety Training Officer, Josh Shepherd, led the live-fire training. “While there is a lot that goes into setting up and safely running a training event like this one, it is well worth it given the enormous benefit it provides our firefighters, our department, and in turn the community we serve. We gain immeasurable experience in search and rescue, firefighter survival, and live-fire expertise. Whenever there’s an opportunity like this one, we want as much learning benefit as possible, not only during the burn but every day leading up to it,” said Shepherd.
Approximately 23 firefighters participated in the live-fire exercise on Saturday and many more were able to make use of the structure for training in the weeks prior.