Ideal Training Ground For Sparks Firemen

SPARKS, NV - “I've got smoke coming from the C side of this house; let's bring in another truck,” says the Sparks Fire captain as he examines the back end of the house.

It's all the language and equipment these firemen would use in a real fire.

The only difference is the house is slated for demolition, and the owners of the property decided to donate it to the fire department so firefighters could work on their fundamentals.

“Well, I like it because its about as realistic as we can make it,” says Sparks firefighter Keith Mullen.

Captains come up on the scene and make the calls for crews. While examining the house, he is told there is someone inside.

“Yes, my girlfriend is in there,” says a training officer to the captain.

The course of action changes as two firemen head inside to find a victim.

”We don't get an opportunity to do any of these things that often. This is just really a good chance for us to get out and do some hands-on training,” says Sparks Fire Division Chief Chris Maples.

Firemen rescue the mannequin inside the home as a safety officer takes notes on what went well, and what could be improved upon.

Besides rescues, the firemen work on ventilation techniques and equipment used to cut through a chain link fence.

Little did those who donated this home know how many training options it afforded firemen.

”Yeah, we really didn't know what the practical use might be. We just thought, knowing that it would be torn down, that, that whatever use they might have for it, we would be happy to try and be a good neighbor and provide that prior to tearing it down,” says Chip Hobson, Executive Director of Silver Sage Manor.

Hobson says the house will be demolished next week and replaced by senior housing.