Fire Department Training Focuses on Rapidly Changing Structure Fires

The Plainfield Township Fire Department recently completed training on wall and door breaches to help firefighters quickly adapt to rapidly changing structure fires.

A structure fire is a large-scale fire at a residential, commercial or industrial building that involves multiple fire engines to assist anyone inside the structure and extinguish the burn.

Regular routes through a building can change suddenly during a fire, so firefighters must be able to find alternative methods to enter and exit rooms and the structure. During the training, firefighters practiced breaching interior walls inside a former car dealership, using axes, pry bars and other tools to puncture and create large enough holes to climb through.

“It is critical our firefighters are well-equipped to adapt to change under pressure,” said Fire Chief Steve McKellar. “These drills allow our firefighters to continue to move throughout the structure efficiently, increasing our chances of saving lives and keeping firefighters safe.”

Firefighters also practiced techniques to force entry through doors by prying them open at the handle or hinges. This method is commonly used when firefighters encounter a locked door.

In 2020, the Fire Department responded to more than 50 structure fires.