AFD trains at donated house

The Alabaster Fire Department conducted a live, fire training session at an unoccupied house on 411 Fulton Springs Road from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31. A total of 32 firefighters from AFD and the Calera Fire Department attended the session.

“This provides a realistic training environment that is safe and controlled,” Alabaster Fire Chief Golden said.

When firefighters first arrived on the property, they did a site safety survey, and followed a checklist to ensure that the house was in a safe condition.

There were six different rooms inside of the house, which were all cleared out. All of the windows had been taken out, and fires set inside of the house.

Golden said firefighters were able to practice for almost every emergency fire situation.

“The crews are able to train with their search and rescue procedures and advancing the hose line. We have an incident command system set up, just like we would in a real world emergency,” Golden said. “Essentially, we’re able to replicate real conditions to train for all aspects of our job.”

Golden said AFD has utilized the house for training for the last three weeks, and this is the first and last time they trained using a live fire at that location.

“We have conducted a lot of staff hours training in this house, and today is the culmination of the training that we’ve done over the previous three weeks,” Golden said.

Once training was over, firefighters used a controlled burn to dispose of the house.

Because AFD often works with the Calera Fire Department, they invited CFD firefighters to join them for training.

“When the Alabaster and Calera Fire Departments work together on an emergency situation, we want them all working seamlessly. We’re all about participating in joint training sessions,” Golden said.

Golden said Alabaster resident and property owner Layo Martin donated the house for firefighters to train in.

Martin said he discovered that the house had been neglected for a long time when he bought the property several months ago, and felt it would be better to donate it than to try and fix it.

According to Martin, donating the house will benefit both the AFD and him, because he now has the opportunity to build a new structure on the property.

“We appreciate Mr. Martin for providing us with this opportunity,” Golden said.