Firefighters face many risks. One of those risks that we must prepare for is being on an upper floor of a building or on a roof when fire conditions change so rapidly blocking our escape. In this situation we may have to conduct an emergency bail out from a higher elevation.
Firefighters spent a classroom day on 1/23/2020 learning and refreshing the academic portion of this training and then on 1/30/2020 they were able to conduct actual window bails from our training prop at the fire station.
In January 2005 in a tragedy known as "Black Sunday" 2 FDNY firefighters were killed and four others where badly hurt in the Bronx when they were forced to jump from the fourth floor. Only 1 firefighter had a rescue rope. Since that incident the FDNY has vowed to spend millions to reissue rope and equipment and conduct training that would help firefighters escape if they were ever faced with a similar situation. In the aftermath, legislation in NY state was passed that requires all fire departments to conduct risk analysis of their districts, including districts they may respond to for mutual aid and equip and train their firefighters to "bail out" as appropriate should the need arise.
Here in Saranac Lake we have many buildings exceeding 2 story's. Our risk analysis requires us to have full and complete bail out equipment and training. At a minimum interior firefighters train annually and we also require our exterior firefighters to attend so they are fully aware of what needs to happen outside the building to support the firefighters who may be bailing out.
A January 26, 2013 article posted on this website is available by clicking the link below to learn more of SLVFD's effort to keep our firefighters safe.
Some notes about our training...
1) Safety first-all persons going through this training are required to have a safety harness and are connected to a belay line during the training. In an actual fire there is no safety harness and belay line but for training safety first it is a requirement. In the video link below at approximately 3:05 a firefighter fails to properly deploy his "Crosby Hook" causing him to fall, he safely recovers with the assistance of the Belay Line. Without the safety line this would have been a serious incident.
2) Full PPE (Personal Protective Gear) Firefighters are expected to be proficient in this skill in full gear including air pack, mask, and gloves as they would wear at a real fire. During training we "crawl-walk-run" meaning learn the task, walk through it, and then do it at full speed with full equipment. At first you will see instructors without coats, this is to expose the underlaying equipment to the students, you will see the students bail without air packs until they learn to bail proficiently, and then you will see them in full gear bailing while breathing air from their air packs.
Please enjoy the photo's and video of your SLVFD in training...
We cant say this often enough...Volunteer firefighters go through a lot of required training, as volunteers this is unpaid duty and it is in addition to all of the other duties such as work bees, and responding to actual emergencies. It takes a lot of training and effort to keep the SLVFD in operation. We would like to thank our volunteers for their service!