Live structure fire training in Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – In preparation of warmer weather and fire season, Saturday (3/23/2024) local firefighters performed live fire training in Grants Pass.

At the 1500 block of Murphy Creek Road in Grants Pass, different agencies collaborated on their live fire training.

It’s a type of training that firefighters say is as close as it gets to simulating a real structure fire and that’s because it is a real structure fire, albeit a controlled one. Fire agencies like Rural Metro Fire and Grants Pass Fire and Rescue were donated a house that was not in use for training. Rural Metro Fire Operations Chief, Austin Prince said,

“We have our crews be able to navigate stairwells, some interior rooms are more divided off to more living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and it gives the interior feel and navigation paths they have to take a little bit more realism.”

Prince also said this training allows for some of the newer firefighters to experience what a real structure fire site would be like.

“It’s got mud, it’s got a bridge, it’s got the woods around us. The whole picture is the setting and so it does take you out of that kind of feeling of a training scenario and give you that realistic approach.”

The fire is still contained enough to allow the firefighters to get proper practice in. The house didn’t have any furniture or additional fire hazards that the crews weren’t aware of, and the rain helped make for a smooth training day for newer firefighters to learn valuable lessons. Rural Metro Fire Company Officer, Joshua Clipp said,

“‘Okay I know how to fight this fire. I know how to deal. I know what’s unsafe and what’s safe now, what I can do and what I can’t do inside of a house that’s on fire.’ That can be a little intimidating, so there’s a little bit of help just giving new guys confidence but then there’s also understanding how to be safe.”

The crews are rotating through different roles on the outside of the structure and inside, but everyone has their part. Clipp said no matter the role, the crews need to work together in order to successfully take out fires,

“We almost always have another department assisting with a fire as well as we’re always pretty much always assisting our neighboring departments with their fires. So, teamwork is pretty much an absolute in the fire service otherwise this doesn’t happen, and it doesn’t happen safely.”

Fire officials also warn Oregonians of the upcoming fire season and to stay vigilant of hazards in their home.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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