Even the bravest firefighters get a little claustrophobic in confined spaces.
That’s why the put together a weekend training session to help the firefighters improve on their training in smoky and confined spaces.
“You get in there and its dark,” Bower Hill firefighter Jerry Butts said. “You have to get people used to moving around in the dark.”
The fire department rented a Guardian training trailer from suburban Philadelphia to simulate the difficult situations in the event of a building collapse. The trailer has four tunnels filled with collapsed debris and simulated smoke that is typically pumped onto a theater stage.
Butts, who is the fire department’s vice president and a 31-year veteran, said Bower Hill has to be prepared in case of a collapse at any major structure, including Providence Point.
Bower Hill firefighters spent all day Saturday working inside the trailer, maneuvering around chairs and porcupine rebar obstacles. The department invited their fellow Scott Township firefighters from and , along with nearby , to help with the Sunday training.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Butts said. “We’ve been talking about this for months.”
Firefighters worked in and out of the closed confinement area before fixing their air packs and then crawling into the trailer.
“It really gives the feeling of being lost,” Butts said. “There’s no depth perception in there. We’ve come a long way.”