The Hot Trailer is an insulated trailer with a compartment for burning wood to simulate the heat and smoke of a fire. Sensors in the fire compartment give temperatures at various levels.
Glen Young of Kentucky Fire and Rescue conducted a tour before the fire was ignited. “The firemen enter in teams. As soon as they enter they crawl in below the heat and smoke, wearing their self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). An instructor sits in the control room and will report temperatures. At the ceiling, that can be 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. At about three-and-a-half feet- head level when firemen crouch, it may be 300 degrees.”
David Sullenger, also of KFR, described the objective. “We want to get new firemen in and show new firemen what it is like. Some get claustrophobic and can’t take it. It is better to find out here, in a controlled environment, than at a real fire. We want to demonstrate the different stages of heat. Their turnout-gear will protect them from the heat, but it can only protect them for so long. It is a controlled environment, but there is always some danger.”
Sullenger discussed the techniques for fighting a fire in an enclosed space, impressing this need on firemen. “We have to keep a solid stream on the fire, or else the steam could cook us like lobsters.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.