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Maintenance is the key word for the Fire Department here lately, maintenance on equipment and maintenance on our firefighting skills.

First we’ll talk about maintaining our firefighting skills with our annual Hot Drills.  These drills are a live fire exercise specifically designed to mimic an aircraft crash. All Twin Falls Fire Department Drivers are required to participate in these drills because they will be the first to respond to any incidents on the airport grounds. This training provides us with the skills and know-how to quickly and effectively extinguish aircraft fires and perform rescue operations in the event an aircraft accident occurs. These live fire drills performed in a controlled environment, help us critique our techniques and see just what our equipment is capable of doing without actually having a fire in a real passenger aircraft. The Hot Drills as usual went off without a hitch, all our boys performed well, and are looking forward to next year’s training.

It’s that time of year once again, when we test every bit of fire hose that the department owns. All the hose comes off the trucks and out of the spare hose room at Station One and is tested to ensure its safe and efficient operation.  If a length of hose has any deficiencies it is noted, tagged, and pulled out of service, and at a later date it is either repaired if possible or destroyed so it doesn’t get mixed in with the good hose. This process usually takes each shift a full day to perform the tests on all their assigned apparatus and spare hose, but with everyone’s help the day seems to go by fairly quickly.

The other equipment maintenance that we will be taking care of this month, is the replacement of our self-contained breathing apparatus, SCBA’s. Our current SCBA’s have performed well, but are definitely due to be replaced. The environments where we use these SCBA’s are quite harsh, with the extreme heat and the different chemicals we come in contact with, it takes a toll on our equipment. We were also able to upgrade to a higher pressure air tank with the new set up, giving us more working time before the low air alarm sounds and we have to exit the structure. Needless to say we are all excited to use our new equipment, it feels like Christmas in June.

That’s about it for this month, and until next time, don't forget to wave to the boys in the BRT.