On Tuesday, Oct. 19, community members may see thick smoke in the sky as the Washington Fire Department (WFD) does a live car fire demonstration for the Washington Rotary Club.
The demonstration is set to begin at about 12:30 p.m. This demonstration is only for Rotary Club members. According to WFD Fire Chief Tim Downing, for the safety of those involved, they have to limit the number of participants.
The demonstration will be taking part at the impound lot located in the 300 block of West Elm Street. The vehicle chosen for the demonstration is owned by the city and was headed to the scrap yard, according to Downing.
“We asked that the fire department get the opportunity to use it for training before scrapping the vehicle. City administration, having the insight to see the need for functional firefighter training, gave us permission to use this vehicle for our training,” he explained.
A great deal of caution and planning has gone into the demonstration.
“Controlling this demonstration takes care and responsible pre-planning. Our instructors have been working together to ensure the safety of the burn and that we follow all applicable rules. Off duty and volunteer firefighters will be taking time out of their schedules to participate as safety personnel during the event,” explained Downing via email. “While we have removed the engine, transmission, fuel tank and tires, the car fire is likely to generate a large amount of thick smoke. People in the area are likely to see and smell this smoke. They may also hear the noises of our fire engines operating to pump water for extinguishment of the fire. Our instructors are doing their very best to eliminate any bad surprises during the demonstration. They are following all of the burning rules that apply to fire department training.”
This will be the first time WFD is doing a live fire demonstration. Even so, WFD is already discussing potential future programs similar to the “Feel the Heat” program presented by the Ohio Fire Academy, according to Downing.
“Although it is impossible for us to do live fire demonstrations for every organization, this is an opportunity for some of the people in our community to see what our firefighters do. They will be able to witness firsthand the heat of a car fire and the difficulty of handling a firehose. In this way, you might say we are taking our public education to the next level,” he wrote.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.