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Firefighters Using Sawridge Inn For Vital Training

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Firefighters Using Sawridge Inn For Vital Training

Regional Emergency Services are getting a chance at some vital training inside the now closed Sawridge Inn.

Summit GM is giving firefighters from across the region a chance to come into their new location before renovations begin for fitness training and drills.

The exercises involve blacking out windows and filling rooms up with smoke to simulate a high-stress situation.

Deputy Chief of Training and Recruitment Cranley Ryan tells Mix News having a building like Sawridge available to RES is a huge win, as even in simulations, owners of buildings like this would be worried about damages.

“It doesn’t matter if we break stuff, that’s the whole intent, the part of the building we’re in is coming down anyway, so it’s valuable training for us.”

He notes one of the drills involves knocking down a chunk of drywall so a firefighter can escape when his exit is blocked.

“Interesting enough in a house this is a fairly easy task, because it’s one sheet of drywall, 2×4 and another sheet of drywall, but in a hotel there’s a wall on each side, so its drywall, sound barrier, insulation, another wall, so it’s actually 10 inches thick instead of four, which makes it a little more difficult.”

“You have to make a hole big enough for you and all your gear and It’s tiring to do that.”

Ryan says members from Saprae Creek, Anzac and Fort McKay volunteer fire departments have had a day of drills, and there’s still a few more to go.

While the training is simulated with no real fire, Ryan says the demonstrations are closed to the public, with the amount of debris around there is still a danger.

He adds the firefighters are geared up for each drill as if they were dealing with a real fire.

 -Photo courtesy of the Summit GM Facebook Page.

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