Monday, November 30, 2009

House Fire Part 1

As part of the Fire Academy training, the school was able to obtain an old house and garage that was going to be demolished and use it to practice putting out structure fires.

First and foremost is Safety! Plenty of backup and water supply. There were no hydrants in the area so water was trucked in with a Water Tender. One engine would be enough, but there was another engine on standby. And they used lots of hose. I was wearing the same "turnout" gear that the rest of the firefighters were wearing to protect me from the heat and such. These are just a few of over 280 pictures that I took to try and capture their story.

This is the house and garage that soon will be gone up in smoke.

They practiced ventilating a roof.

A fire was set in each of the small rooms one at a time in the house and each squad had a turn at entering the house with a hose line and checking for people and then putting out the fire. They had to put out the fire quickly so as not catch the whole house on fire. They even practiced extracting a "downed fireman" from a burning building.

After putting out fires in the small rooms, they torched the garage.

Now they had an exercise in Exposure Protection. In other words keep the house from catching fire from all the heat from the garage fire.

This is just the first part of a three part series that is needed to tell the story. While the garage was going up, they posed for a Class Picture.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wood Cutting At Big Bear

After stopping in Big Bear to get wood cutting permits from the U. S. Forest Service, Jim, Shonda and I along with their next door neighbor caravaned the three pickups up above Big Bear Lake to an elevation of about 7,500 feet. Jim drove his '63 Ford and Shonda drove their Chevy crew-cab. We found a good spot in a "wood cutting" area to either cut up downed trees or fell your own tree, as long as it was marked for felling. We arrived at the cutting site about 12:30 pm.

Once we had arrived, Jim prepared the chainsaws for the task at hand.

By the time we had all three pickups loaded it was sundown. We carefully and slowly drove back down the mountain and ate dinner in Big Bear City.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fire Academy Night Burn

I was asked to be the official photographer for the current Victor Valley College Fire Academy. I have taken hundreds of pictures of various events that are part of their training. I posted several pictures of the Night Burn last April or May, but this time I was able to be in better vantage spots.

Class 32 decided to spend a little money and paint the car that is used as a prop for putting out car fires. I thought the paint would burn off the first time they set the car on fire, but the paint lasted the whole 2 hours of the event because of all the water that was put on the car to put out the fires. However, when it came time for me to take pictures of the 6 different squads posed by the burning car, the car got very hot and the paint vanished.
Here are just a few of the 110 shots that took that evening.

While they were putting out the car fire, another group from the class were extinguishing the blaze on another prop. I had to be able to dance around 8 fire hoses and stay out of their way while taking these shots.

My next post will be about my adventures at a Wild land Burn in the city of Victorville.