Members of the current firefighting academy pull a “victim” to safety from the new search and rescue prop (Cari Coll Photo).

Members of the current firefighting academy pull a “victim” to safety from the new search and rescue prop (Cari Coll Photo).

Fire district builds new search and rescue prop

The new structure designed to mimic a residential three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue recently upgraded its search and rescue prop — a training space it uses for current firefighters and students in the fire academies it hosts twice a year.

In the place of two old shipping containers at the end of their useful life, there is a new structure designed to be flexible and mimic a residential three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, with a one-bedroom, one bathroom configuration also possible thanks to movable walls.

The 30-by-40-foot structure also includes an attic, closets and typical household furnishings and appliances, most abandoned or donated. Other real-life touches slated for the prop include smoke detectors that could be going off while people search, and radios and televisions that could be playing, contributing to the noise level. It is also possible to add sprinklers for firefighters to practice stopping water flow.

Recent academy students were the first to go through early last month. In full bunker gear and in black-out conditions with smoke from a smoke machine filling the rooms, they were tasked with searching for victims — an unknown number and in unknown locations, as in a true house fire. The prop also allows firefighters to practice breaching walls and extrication techniques after a collapse.

The department had allocated $85,000 for the project, Chief Charlie Krimmert said, calling it a work in progress and estimating that the district has spent about $50,000 on it so far. Krimmert, Assistant Chief Bob Larsen and Battalion Chief of Training & Safety Cari Coll designed the prop, and members of the department built it.

Krimmert said the structure is a welcome addition to the training grounds.

“We believe it is a tremendous step forward for more realistic training,” he said.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Upstart producers keep Vashon’s arts scene humming online

Vashon Live shows have had close to 70,000 views since the series began in early March.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about June 22 to June 29.

Island eateries adjust to life in Phase 2

Not everyone is comfortable yet with the prospect of reopening.

Performers bring a message: get tested, Vashon

White-coat-clad “doctors” in downtown last week agree: testing on Vashon is easy to arrange.

Sawbones, in ‘painful’ move, reduces its workforce

About 90% of those laid off were island residents.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about June 15 to June 22.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Most Read