Firefighters Train, Burn Donated House

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

October 27, 2012

For volunteer firefighters, it's hard to get the real world experience without being thrown into it. On Saturday, training for Earlysville and Crozet volunteer firefighters was as real as it gets

They're flames firefighters hope they never see on the job but they still need to know how to handle them. Twelve fairly new firefighters put their training hours to work at Chapel Springs Farm on Saturday.

"When you come up and that adrenaline racing in you makes it hard to think straight, [that] is why we train so much. It just makes it a lot smoother and safer for us to do this kind of training," said Lt. Alex Caudle with Crozet Volunteer Fire Department.

Most of us can't imagine stepping foot into a burning home filled with smoke, fire and unbearable heat. But these guys have to. And to do it their best, a day like Saturday is important for training.

"Every time it makes you a little nervous. There's no such thing as an ordinary fire. It's a little different every time. It's exciting, and after it's all over, you feel pretty accomplished," Caudle said.

On Saturday that accomplishment was putting a lot of work into some real world training.

"Today's event is just a great opportunity to put all the training that we've worked on throughout the summer at the firehouse, into one four-hour evolution," said Crozet Fire Battalion Chief, Lee James.

While this is incredibly important for the firefighters' training, the property manager who donated this house to burn says this is also a win for the community.

"I want these guys as well trained as possible so if my house catches on fire, they've got the training necessary to save my house or my neighbors house. It's hard to get real-world training like this, so it's a real win win," said Brad Cogan, property manager of Chapel Springs Farm.

They even had an 185-pound dummy to place around the burning house to have the teams try to save it, like they would a person.

The house had been leveled to the ground to give volunteer firefighters a lifesaving experience.

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