The Kentucky Fire Commission turned up the heat at Sunday’s firefighter training hosted at Bailey Switch Fire Department. Individuals from six local fire departments attended the training as part of the 150 hours of training needed to obtain state certification. This particular simulation was designed to show the firefighters the warning signs of a flashover.
Scot Clouse, a 22 year firefighter with Bailey Switch and Little Poplar Fire Departments, explains a flashover as “when the flammable gases from organic materials in a room reaches a temperature of 932 degrees Fahrenheit and ignites almost simultaneously. It’s bad news.”
To prepare the firefighters for possible flashover, the men were seated in a metal trailer as a fire was ignited above them. They stayed in the trailer, rotating posions so everyone had a chance to get closer to the actual fire source, until they ran out of oxygen (usually around 20 minutes) or they could no long stand the heat.
Eric Martin, 10 year firefighter with Bailey Switch, described his experience during the simulation, “It was hot, smoky and you could barely breath. It looked like fingers coming out of the smoke and there was a blanket of fire above you.”
“It’s rough on them,” added Clouse, as we watched several men line up and request another round in the hot box.