Calera FD fires up training

Published 3:01 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Calera firefighter trains during a live fire training March 7. (Contributed/Sean Kendrick)

A Calera firefighter trains during a live fire training March 7. (Contributed/Sean Kendrick)


CALERA – A Calera firefighter hauled a tire from the passenger seat of a burning car and simulated administering CPR during a live fire training March 7.

The firefighters used a tire as a simulated victim trapped in the vehicle. The fire was created inside the vehicle’s engine compartment using hay and diesel fuel, so the firefighters wore full turnout gear and air tanks for protection.

More than half of the vehicle wrecks the Calera Fire Department responds to involve vehicle fires, or about 50 per year, Fire Chief Sean Kendrick said.

The training meets National Fire Protection Association standards, and the firefighters undergo the training yearly. In addition to the life fire training, the firefighters also used the vehicle for extrication training.

Kendrick said vehicle fires typically start from the heat of the engine combining with fuel, or they could begin from electrical components short circuiting in a wrecked vehicle.

The training took place at Billy’s Toyota and Lexus in Calera, where the fire department has held trainings previously.

The firefighters utilized a piercing nozzle to gain access to the burning engine compartment and extinguish the fire without standing too close.

The firefighters also added FireAde to the water, which is a chemical designed to break the water’s surface tension and make the fire cool faster. Because of this, the firefighters are able to use less water and create less run-off.

“Everyone has an assigned role, but we’re a small department, so everyone trains in every role,” Kendrick said.

Members of the Calera Fire Department will participate in a countywide training tonight at Shelby County High School at 6:30 p.m. The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force will provide information to local fire departments regarding methamphetamine labs.