Inside the fire

Keremeos firefighters got a bit of “hot time” in Penticton Monday night, training in local facilities in a controlled structure fire environment.

Penticton Fire Department deputy chief Dennis Smith said the department has played host to training exercises for departments from Peachland down to Keremeos.

“We were using our burn building, and we were doing what we’d consider a grade-level fire sack,” Smith said. “So we would go in, (we’ll) call it the front door, contain the fire in our burn building there, extinguish the fire and then ventilate the smoke out of the space.”

The training is done on an as-needed basis for departments in the region, typically in the spring and fall when the weather is cooler, and Smith said the PFD does the same training once a year.

“Fires don’t happen very often, so firefighters don’t get very many opportunities to be in the fire situation,” he said, adding the training is typically referred to as “hot time.”

“We can share our facility with the regional fire departments or send our staff in to controlled environment, which is an actual fire, and they can just increase their comfort level with being in that environment and practice their skills while they’re in there.”

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