Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Nick Upham organized a three-department training session for firefighters, Boothbay Region Ambulance Service and Boothbay Region Fire Auxiliary Tuesday evening, March 28.
The mutual aid scenario, with Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport departments participating, was a house fire at 51 Union St. in Boothbay Harbor, complete with a child inside the house and a distraught mother outside.
Tom and Patty Minerich, who own the house, offered it for training because it will soon be torn down, according to Upham.
“It was a rare opportunity to have a house for training,” said Upham on Wednesday, March 29. “I think the training went very well and the members all got something out of it at the end of the day.”
About an hour into the training, a real fire call – a car fire – occurred at 133 Atlantic Ave.; the fire was quickly extinguished, said Upham.
During the training, firefighters – there were over 40 in all – rescued the child (played by Upham’s daughter Sheyenne) by breaking down the front door and rushing to the second floor where she was found. Her “distraught mother,” played by Kathleen Pearce, was glad to see the BRAS attendants tend to the girl at the scene.
Firefighters entered the building, breaking through the first floor doorways and fought the fire on the marked areas inside – meanwhile battling smoke made by a machine. Second floor entry scenarios had firefighters carry and erect ladders to hose down the fire after breaking through windows in the front and back of the house. There were also a couple of scenarios where the roof collapsed – signaled from the closest fire truck with three horn blasts – and everyone scrambled out of the house. Some firefighters even took time to refresh with water and coffee provided by the Fire Auxiliary.
“This training gave the newer and younger leadership a chance to work on their communication skills,” said Upham.
The training took place from about 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.