Lake area firefighters—some (volunteers) of whom have never battled a fire—got some hands-on training last weekend.

The Gravois Fire Protection District (GFPD) hosted a multi-jurisdiction Vehicle Fire training on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the GFPD Headquarters in Laurie. The training was conducted by the Missouri University Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MUFRTI). GFPD Division Chief of Training John Scheper organized the event, which was taught by MUFRTI Adjunct Instructor Robert Shremek and MU Adjunct Instructor/Waynesville Fire Chief Doug Yurecko. The training was funded by State Farm Insurance. Gravois, Mid County and California Fire Protection District firefighters participated in the training event.

According to MUFRTI, one of the least recognized aspects of fire threat is the vehicle fire. Due to recent changes in vehicle design and construction firefighters are forced to change the way vehicle fires are fought. The course presented safe and efficient strategies and tactics to extinguish vehicles fires based upon vehicle design; operating fuel, construction materials; location; and ignition and coolant systems. 

Volunteer firefighters that had never been involved in a live fire, as well as career firefighters, participated in the event that began with a four-hour in-classroom training.

During the afternoon session, the training moved outdoors. Utilizing the Missouri University Fire and Rescue Institutes Special Fire Training Simulator, students participated in live fire evolutions. Teams of three extinguished vehicle (prop) fires, fueled by a 200-gallon propane tank in the simulator. Due to the lake having only a few readily available fire hydrants, water was pumped to the scene by a pumper truck, operated by GFPD Fire Chief Ed Hancock. 

--photos by Janet Dabbs--

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