Firefighters attack a roaring blaze in what would be an attempt to minimize damage to surrounding structures during a live training exercise March 19 in the Town of Brighton. (Photo by Chad Hensiak)

Fire crews from throughout the area worked together on exercise

By Chad Hensiak

Correspondent

The Kansasville Fire and Rescue Department along with various emergency response partners from surrounding communities on March 19 participated in a live fire training at a controlled burn, 975th 224th Ave., Kansasville.

The training exercise in the Town of Brighton included fire officials from the Town of Paris, Rochester Volunteer Fire Company, Union Grove-Yorkville as well as Wind Lake.

The training exercise, led by instructors from Gateway Technical College, started around 8 a.m. and consisted of reading smoke, ventilation, ladder use, tool use, gaining entry along with search and rescue operations.

The house, however, became too unsafe for training to continue inside at about 11:30 a.m. and the departments worked together to control and contain the blaze to prevent damage to trees and other structures on the property.

Kansasville fire officials found the live training exercise at an actual structure a valuable experience.

“Having the ability to train in an actual structure brings so much value to the training,” said Kansasville firefighter and EMT Ryan Hoover.

Additionally, according to Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Callies, using a structure affords officials a more realistic scenario.

“Being able to set up realistic training scenarios that mirror those in actual fire situations provides the most realistic training for our crews.” Callies said “Having crews from multiple area Fire Departments working together to combat a blaze is very realistic and what is typical for a Mutual Aid Box Alarm (MABAS) response for a fire such as this.”

Chief Ron Molnar, Kansasville Fire Chief, wrote in a news release he expected the structure will continue to smolder for a few days upon completion of training.

“Smoke and small flame may continue to be seen coming from the basement area of the structure at times,” he said. “This is normal as the goal is to burn away as much of the structure as possible.”

Kansasville Fire and Rescue, he said, have continued to monitor the site for safety.

Molnar, meanwhile, felt fortunate to have a donate structure to use for live training exercises.

“We’re grateful for the generous donation of the structure that will provide a ‘real-life’ training opportunity for many area Firefighters to take advantage of to learn new techniques, work with other departments and to hone their skills using tools and equipment to do their jobs. It is some of the most realistic training that we can provide,” said Molnar.