Close Calls:Firefighter Trapped in Marijuana-Grow "Fortress" Part 1

We all train for that “worst day,” and that day can end up being many things to many people. The non-breathing child, the crash with entrapment, the call where you work on someone in front of their family, a terrorist event – the list of what we...


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Lessons learned that day have changed how we conduct our daily training, and I have taken a “back to the basics” approach for my group. As a captain, I am responsible for the training of my group. I am a certified fire instructor and have been working at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy for approximately nine years, where I train recruit and veteran firefighters. I mostly work in the 12-week recruit-training program, which trains firefighters from all over the state. Many of the lesson plans that I use for company level training come from this training. Other programs that I instruct include “Saving Ourselves” and the flashover trailer.

In light of this incident, I have been focusing some of the training to Mayday procedures, self-rescue and rapid intervention. I believe it is good to review Mayday procedures, but it is more important to actually physically call out Maydays in our training. I also review all near-misses and fatalities daily with my group. Some days, our training focuses on specific examples. My main priority has always been safety and I believe that education and training are key to that mission. n

Next: Comments by Chief Goldfeder and others related to this fire.