Palm Desert, CA
The Riverside County Fire Department used a restaurant in Palm Desert Tuesday to simulate a burning structure and train for search and rescue operations.
For firefighters, training in real life situations can be the difference between life and death.
"There’s so many different things that can be dangerous, working on the roof. Every facet of what we do is dangerous, so by training like this it gives us the opportunity to do it and be practiced before it really has to happen, under some controlled conditions," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Rick Griggs.
Riverside County firefighters used Casey’s Restaurant in Palm Desert to stage a realistic search and rescue operation. Special machines filled the space with smoke to create a zero visibility environment …
"It’s very important that we do training and unlike some of the other training that we’re doing, today it’s going to be at night time. So the darkness is going to be an element that all the firefighters have to deal with," said Fire Captain Ricky Harvey.
Members of the public aren’t the only ones that need rescuing. That’s why firefighters took this opportunity to practice a mayday call.
"If there is a mayday or one of our firefighters are lost, trapped or injured, they can request the rapid intervention crew to assist that firefighter," said Harvey.
Firefighters say there are a list of things that can injure or kill them when fighting a fire. An explosion or a collapsing roof can happen at any moment.
"They are a public servant. And if a firefighter is lost, it isn’t just felt by one person, it’s often felt by the whole community," Griggs said.