Farmington Hills house ‘burn’ trains firefighters

A house on 12 Mile Road west of Halsted in Farmington Hills became a Fire Department training facility in April, giving firefighters a hands-on opportunity to practice the techniques and strategies learned in the classroom.

From left, council members Theresa Rich and Richard Lerner with Lt. James Neufeld
From left, council members Theresa Rich and Richard Lerner with Lt. James Neufeld during a training burn. (Contributed photo)

According to a press release, multiple training sessions included five days of live fire sessions where the department burned wooden pallets under carefully controlled conditions. While inside the house, firefighters were able to observe the behavior of smoke and fire as it grew, then safely left the structure.

Training burn
Farmington Hills firefighters enter the home during a training burn. (Contributed photo)

On the exterior of the house, firefighters responded as they would have during an actual incident, assessing conditions, gaining entry, advancing hose lines, searching for occupants, extinguishing the fire, and ventilating the structure to remove smoke and heat.

Several adventurous and brave city council members who joined the training sessions as observers were able to see firsthand how fire fighters use the equipment that the City purchases including fire trucks, fire hoses, air packs, turnout gear, and thermal imaging cameras.

Farmington Hills firefighters at the training burn site.
Farmington Hills firefighters at the training burn site. (Contributed photo)

“Allowing our firefighters to train in actual fire conditions provided them the opportunity to cultivate and hone their firefighting skills,” said Fire Chief Jon Unruh. “The Department has a strong focus on public safety, and this adds to the high quality of life and the safety of residents in our City.”

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