MEDFORD, Ore. — On Sunday morning, crews from Medford Fire had a training opportunity that hasn’t been available in more than a year. A house in Medford was donated by the owner to the Medford Fire Department for training purposes.
Firefighter Josh Allphin has been with Medford Fire for about a year and said Sunday’s training is a chance to practice everyday type firefighting.
“It’s the closest we can get to the real thing without it being the real thing. We have the real smoke, we’re not dealing with the fake fog, we have the heat, we have all of the real stuff in play that we would on the real thing,” said Allphin.
Training Chief Jason Blount says his crews train every day but being able to practice on a real house is a rare opportunity that is valuable to his crews.
“This is the first one in about a year and a half. So we really look for these opportunities for people that have a good structure they can donate, we get a lot of value and do a lot of different types of training,” said Blount
Blount says Sunday’s drill focused on fire behavior, communications and hose management. Crews preped the house by stripping the floors and adding straw and pallets to help fuel the simulated fires.
“In this case we’re doing live fire training with our newest members and a team we’ve assembled within the department that preps structures and does instruction on fire fighting,” said Blount.
Allphin says the more practice he and his crew get, the faster and more efficeint they will become when called out at a moment’s notice.
“It’s all about just learning it as muscle memory. We want to have our checks and the things we do the same every time so that when we do the real thing at two in the morning we’re not having to think about it, it just comes to you,” said Allphin