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Oshawa firefighters show off their skills

(Photo by Chris Jones)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa Fire Services recently provided an inside look at their operations with a demonstration of a live fire training exercise.

The early-morning exercise took place at an abandoned property near Wilson and Conlin roads in the city’s rural north end.

The training site provided training opportunities for provincial fire investigators, as well as Oshawa Fire Services staff.

Firefighters were given the opportunity to put out a fire in a controlled environment with a crowd of media, city councillors, and other guests in attendance.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said it was a very unique event, emphasizing it was a day of learning.

“Not only do our firefighters get an opportunity to actually be able to see a fire in progress and see exactly what happens from start to finish, but the Ontario Fire Marshal also gets to learn a great deal out of it, so this is a unique training opportunity that everybody is going to learn from today,” said Carter.

Carter noted his son-in-law is a firefighter, having switched careers from a police officer.

“Apparently he likes fire better than policing, but that’s for another day,” he joked.

To the mayor, it’s important the city’s firefighters are well-equipped, trained, and rehearsed in order to deal with the issues they face.

“As families send those members, their loved ones to us, each and every day it’s our responsibility to make sure they get home safely,” he said.

Ward 4 regional councillor Rick Kerr was the MC of the event.

“I was a college professor for over 30 years, and I’m a very strong believer in experiential learning,” said Kerr. “To give students the chance to get their hands-on work as much as they can before they step into the workforce, that not only makes them more confident future employees, but makes them much more competent incoming employees.”

Kerr said how watching the fire be controlled from start to finish is “extremely enlightening.”

Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark explained how beneficial this training exercise is for Oshawa Fire Services employees.

“This is valuable training for everyone involved,” said Clark. “It benefits every single one of our divisions in the fire service.”

The fire was set to a room containing a couch, table, bookshelf and chair.

After the fire had consumed the room, firefighters moved in and quickly put it out.

Spectators were able to watch from a safe distance.

“This is a great learning opportunity for the science of fire investigation,” said Clark.