Fighting fire is not an easy job. Being a firefighter definitely is a tough job when other people’s lives depend on you and your life is also on the line. In a lot of cases and cities, firefighters sometimes have to learn on the job. However, the city of Colorado Springs wants to help prevent horrible fires and train the firefighters to be prepared in any case of an emergency. Colorado Springs became the first city for a nationwide training program this week. The purpose of this program is to train and teach firefighters different methods and strategies of putting out a wildfire.
Mainly, the fire department is concerned for WUIs. A WUI is a wildland-urban interface, which is basically the middle ground where the forest meets residential homes. During the Waldo Canyon Fire, firefighters developed strategies to put out the forest fire that destroyed over 340 homes and damaged over 18,000 acres of Pike National Forest and other areas connected to the forest. Waldo even killed two people. During the Waldo fire, the team of firefighters that were trying to put it out obtained new methods, but none of those methods had names.
Battalion Chief Justin White wants to create a system where they name the different type of firefighting strategies. His goal is to get everyone on the team to understand each other easily during horrible fires to make the process faster and easier. After holding a conference in Denver with retired Cal Fire Chief Phill Veneris, he saw an opportunity to teach his team the names for strategies. Veneris gave him the book from Cal Fire that had all the information he needed. The program for this week provided his team with practical training by instructors from all over the U.S.
The training contained multiple real-life scenarios with fires started from different causes. The instructors were put into different roles in each scenario. About 32 of the Colorado Springs firefighters underwent the training this week. They all agree that it is the closest form of training to a real-life fire emergency.
Since the Colorado Springs fire department had tackled a few wildfires, this training gave them a better understanding of approach methods and prepares them for any future ones. Their goal is to prepare for any wildfire that might start in the future and to protect as much land as they can to prevent it from spreading and reaching the homes of residents.