Portable 'live building fire' for training purposes at Port Pirie

A controlled inferno in a simulated building will be used to train fire-fighters in Port Pirie.

BLAZE: Flames will spread through a simulated building structure as part of training for retained fire-fighters.

BLAZE: Flames will spread through a simulated building structure as part of training for retained fire-fighters.

CHIEF: Metropolitan Fire Service chief officer Greg Crossman outlined the steps taken by fire-fighters when confronted by a blaze.

CHIEF: Metropolitan Fire Service chief officer Greg Crossman outlined the steps taken by fire-fighters when confronted by a blaze.

Described as a “live building fire”, the activity will be confined to two specially-modified shipping containers that will be transported around the state for training purposes.

In phone hook-up with country media, Emergency Services Minister Pete Malinauskas, Metropolitan Fire Service chief officer Greg Crossman and chief station officer Stuart Helmore outlined the operation of the $66,000 mobile training scenario.

Mr Helmore said the structure would comprise two 20-foot containers linked together and lined with chipboard.

He said a fire would be lit in the corner of the structure to “reproduce” conditions that fire crews would face in a callout.

Chief officer Mr Crossman said fire-fighters would perform a “dynamic risk assessment” as one of their first duties at the scene.

He said they would decided where to conduct an “internal attack” while exposed to heat and flames.

They needed information with which to make decisions in a time-poor situation.

Minister Malinauskas said up to 260 retained or part-time fire-fighters from 16 country MFS stations would be trained.

He said it helped them to battle house, business and other structural fires.

The training would be impossible without the live scenario.

Mr Crossman said the development was “really exciting” and the funding “wonderful”.

He said Country Fire Service teams might be offered similar training.

Asked whether the training would be relevant to a potential disaster at Nyrstar smelter, Mr Crossman said this was an example of a bigger structural fire.

Mr Malinauskas then said it was “fundamental” that the fire-fighters would be ready for any blaze at the smelter.

He said the funding for the live scenarios would continue to be available indefinitely.

The module will be set up for training drills in Port Pirie on November 14 and 15.

Retained staff regularly receive structural fire-fighting training to update and develop their skills.

The Minister said this training was vitally important and an example of the Emergency Services Levy being used in innovative ways.

“It not only enhances fire-fighter safety, but better protects local lives, homes and businesses,” he said.

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