Waxahachie firefighters spent time training this week at the city’s multi-level parking garage downtown. All three shifts were given instruction and hands-on training on the structure’s firefighting system in case of a vehicle fire.
The design of the parking garage cannot accommodate the size and height of a fire truck, so firefighters have to work from the outside in. The garage has a standpipe system to utilize in fighting a fire.
“There is a fitting on the outside for us to hook up a pumper to and pump water to from the outside in. Then we carry our hoses inside and hook up our hoses to the fittings (located) on each level. On each level there are four hose fittings that are strategically located,” Assistant Fire Chief Randall Potter said.
“We have to treat a car fire here just like a structure fire. It is going to be a box alarm where three engines and a ladder will respond.”
Along with the equipment, there will be firefighters that make up an attack crew that will go in and fight a fire, while a rapid intervention team is positioned on the outside of the building. The RIT does rescue operations if a firefighter gets trapped or can’t get out on his or her own.
As part of the training, firefighters suited up in bunker gear and hooked up hose to a connection on the top level, carrying the hose in off of the engine in a removable heavy plastic container called a “speedlay.” Inside the container is 200 feet of hose pre-packed for quick deployment for this type of situation. Once the hose was connected, water flowed from the hydrant into the standpipe system. Once water was flowed from the fire hydrant into the dry system in took about 50 seconds for water to work its way through the system to the hose.
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