Members of the Houston Fire Department spent Oct. 25 at an old residence at the end of River Bank Drive provided to them by the owner so they could hold a live fire practice. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)

Members of the Houston Fire Department spent Oct. 25 at an old residence at the end of River Bank Drive provided to them by the owner so they could hold a live fire practice. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)

Derelict house used for fire practice

Practice took place Oct. 25 on River Bank Drive

Members of the Houston Volunteer Fire Department had the chance Oct. 25 to put some of their skills to the test by taking part in a live fire practice at an abandoned residence at the end of River Bank Drive.

“The house was made available to us by the purchaser the house. It was no longer habitable so he asked if we would be interested in using for training, which we agreed to,” said fire chief Jim Daigneault.

“The live fire training involves setting small fires in different rooms one at a time and then the fire fighters enter the building to search it out put the fire out and then vent the house.”

“Doing this lets the members experience very low vision and also the heat from the fires,” the fire chief added.

“Most firefighters do not get to experience these conditions very often so it is a great training opportunity for everyone along with improving our communication skills on the ground.”

When the live fire practice and training was finished, firefighters then kept watch as the structure was allowed to burn to the ground.

Volunteers hone their skills at weekly practices involving a wide variety of training using ropes and ladders as well as using the self-contained breath apparatus used while firefighters are inside buildings.

“We also do high angle and confined space training and first responder medical training,” said Daigneault.

Aside from firefighting training, volunteers are also called out for the other important function of the department — responding to medical emergencies and to vehicle accidents.

Fire prevention, fire investigation and public education are also provided by the department.

In other fire department news, the arrival of its new rescue truck, which had been expected by now, has been delayed until early next year.

Approved in Dec. 2019 at a cost of $361,610, the Hub Fire Engines of Abbotsford vehicle will replace the current rescue truck which is a 2000 model.

ew rescue truck for the fire department is on its way following purchase approval given by the District of Houston council Dec. 3.