Amherstburg Fire Department trains with real scenarios thanks to live fire unit


By Ron Giofu


Members of the Amherstburg Fire Department receive regular training but have had a chance to get a taste of the real thing recently.

The Amherstburg Fire Department has partnered with St. Clair College, the LaSalle Fire Department and the Tecumseh Fire Department on a mobile live fire training unit. The unit resembles a trailer, but fire crews have an opportunity to go in and battle an actual fire.

One part of the unit features cameras and controls allowing firefighters to create the scenario they want to work on and ensure things are going as planned.

Members of the Amherstburg Fire Department have been training thanks to the aid of a mobile live fire unit this month. The unit, which resembles a trailer, can have fires and smoke inside of it thanks to a control room built in another part of the unit.

There are controlled scenarios but they closely resemble what firefighters would have to do at an actual call. Firefighters enter a darkened trailer, with the only light coming from the flames ahead. In the heat and smoke-filled darkness and in full fire gear, the team had to navigate its way down (and then back up) a flight of stairs, put the fire out and find the mannequin.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said deputy fire chief Lee Tome.

Tome noted they don’t always get chances to enter structures with actual fires for training purposes, so the trailer was a good chance to sharpen their skills in a close to real-life environment.

Firefighters from all three Amherstburg stations have been using the mobile live fire training unit. It has been stationed this month at Amherstburg fire station 2. Training sessions see a truck start from Anderdon Public School as if it is responding to an actual fire call and drive to station two where firefighters then begin the process they undergo when the real thing occurs.

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