Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company


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An Inside Look at Battling a Structure Fire
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By Newsdesk
April 24, 2013

Many members of the public have a general understanding of what it is that firefighters do. Specifically, a building is on fire, firefighters show up and the fire is extinguished. As simple as it sounds, being a strong fire company requires constant training combined with the ability to execute.

The photos below will give you a glimpse into a drill from last summer which shows Berwyn's firefighters conducting live fire training. An understanding of strategy and tactics combined with sound skills are obtained only through frequent and focused training. Please take a look at the photos and captions to get an understanding of the anatomy of a structure fire call.

Thank you to FF Brad Remick of the Penn Wynne Fire Company, also a very skilled photographer, for providing these great shots and for giving our community an inside look into what it takes to be a professional firefighter.

One of the most important aspects of a well-run fire scene is apparatus placement.  Each truck must be placed properly or there may not be room for a ladder truck or another engine to assist with supplying water.
One of the most important aspects of a well-run fire scene is apparatus placement. Each truck must be placed properly or there may not be room for a ladder truck or another engine to assist with supplying water.
The first arriving officer must do a quick walk around the structure to identify the location of the fire and other potential dangers to the crew.  It takes years of training and experience to be able to take what you see and develop an attack plan in just seconds.
The first arriving officer must do a quick walk around the structure to identify the location of the fire and other potential dangers to the crew. It takes years of training and experience to be able to take what you see and develop an attack plan in just seconds.
 
The first in crew must make entry into the structure in order to locate the fire and search for potential victims.  Firefighters must be proficient in gaining entry through all types of doors and locks using many different tools.  Firefighters must also be proficient in searching for trapped occupants - seconds count!
The first in crew must make entry into the structure in order to locate the fire and search for potential victims. Firefighters must be proficient in gaining entry through all types of doors and locks using many different tools. Firefighters must also be proficient in searching for trapped occupants - seconds count!
The first in engine crew has a primary responsibility of bringing in a hoseline and putting water on the fire.  This requires substantial training to make sure the hose is deployed smoothly and efficiently.
The first in engine crew has a primary responsibility of bringing in a hoseline and putting water on the fire. This requires substantial training to make sure the hose is deployed smoothly and efficiently.
 
The ladder truck crew is responsible for many fireground tasks including putting up ladders to allow for removal of trapped occupants and to allow for firefighters to safely escape a structure if conditions deteriorate inside.
The ladder truck crew is responsible for many fireground tasks including putting up ladders to allow for removal of trapped occupants and to allow for firefighters to safely escape a structure if conditions deteriorate inside.
The ladder crew is also responsible for conducting an initial search of the residence or building for trapped occupants - the training and coordination of this task is truly vital to save lives.
The ladder crew is also responsible for conducting an initial search of the residence or building for trapped occupants - the training and coordination of this task is truly vital to save lives.
 
After the fire is out, firefighters spend a lot of time cleaning up equipment and restoring all of the apparatus to its original condition.  Each truck must be ready to respond to another fire at any time.  There is hose to re-pack, equipment to clean, and air bottles to fill.
After the fire is out, firefighters spend a lot of time cleaning up equipment and restoring all of the apparatus to its original condition. Each truck must be ready to respond to another fire at any time. There is hose to re-pack, equipment to clean, and air bottles to fill.
An individual firefighter can go through a number of air bottles during one fire.  Each bottle lasts for up to half an hour - imagine doing your everyday workout while wearing a heavy backpack and breathing into a mask!
An individual firefighter can go through a number of air bottles during one fire. Each bottle lasts for up to half an hour - imagine doing your everyday workout while wearing a heavy backpack and breathing into a mask!
 
FF Harry Burke helps clean up after an evolution.  FF Burke is a great example of how important experience and training are to a successful fire company as demonstrated on numerous fires in the Berwyn area.
FF Harry Burke helps clean up after an evolution. FF Burke is a great example of how important experience and training are to a successful fire company as demonstrated on numerous fires in the Berwyn area.
FF Mary Ellen Toscani joined Berwyn while in high school.  She is now a very active member and is part of both Berwyn's specialized Rapid Intervention Team and Confined Space Technical Rescue Team.
FF Mary Ellen Toscani joined Berwyn while in high school. She is now a very active member and is part of both Berwyn's specialized Rapid Intervention Team and Confined Space Technical Rescue Team.
 
FF Dave Shank is another member who joined in high school.  FF Shank is extremely active at Berwyn as well volunteering at Surf City Fire (NJ) during the summers.  FF Shank has committed himself to gaining experience and training to best serve the Berwyn area residents.
FF Dave Shank is another member who joined in high school. FF Shank is extremely active at Berwyn as well volunteering at Surf City Fire (NJ) during the summers. FF Shank has committed himself to gaining experience and training to best serve the Berwyn area residents.
Thanks again to FF/Photographer Brad Remick (right) for joining the group.  FF Remick chose a day where temperatures approached 100 degrees (outside) and provided us with great photos!  We look forward to seeing Brad again in 2013!
Thanks again to FF/Photographer Brad Remick (right) for joining the group. FF Remick chose a day where temperatures approached 100 degrees (outside) and provided us with great photos! We look forward to seeing Brad again in 2013!
 
Berwyn's initial attack engine is ready to respond on the next fire through the hard work, dedication and training of Berwyn's volunteers and career staff.  We work hard to make sure we have the tools necessary to serve the community!
Berwyn's initial attack engine is ready to respond on the next fire through the hard work, dedication and training of Berwyn's volunteers and career staff. We work hard to make sure we have the tools necessary to serve the community!
 

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