During this past weekend the Brewster Fire Department conducted training on their new firefighter personal escape systems. The cost for the systems, training, and associated wages was funded through a 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the amount of $42,700.00 which was awarded to the department in late 2014.
The personal escape systems will provide each firefighter with the ability to self-exit from the upper floors of a building should they become trapped or disoriented while conducting interior fire operations. While Brewster firefighters train annually on the skills and techniques required to avoid these situations, the dangerous and dynamic environments in which they operate in during a structure fire can become rapidly untenable. When this occurs firefighters must be able to immediately leave the interior of the building and when normal egress routes are blocked these escape systems become critical to their safe removal from the structure.
The individual units and requisite training was provided by Rescue Products International the inventor of the devices and a nationally recognized industry leader in firefighter rescue systems. In order to receive certification on the system each firefighter was required to complete a three hour classroom session and a practical evolution that required seven “bail out” scenarios from a two-story mobile training prop. The Brewster Fire Department is the first department on Cape Cod to provide their firefighters with this life-saving equipment.
Brewster Fire Chief Robert Moran stated “the purchase of these personal escape systems has allowed our organization to significantly enhance the safety of our firefighters conducting interior fire suppression operations. Moving forward we pledge to continue to research and implement cutting edge technology designed to improve the safety of our members and our ability to provide professional, expert fire and emergency medical services to our residents.