On This Day in FFD History

November 23, 2016 Events  No comments

15129030_1603292909696555_7580967901542263685_oReprinted from the Cumberland News, Wednesday, November 23, 1977

Shaft Fire Drill Termed a Success.

About 50 from three companies were given an opportunity this past Sunday to test and improve their fire fighting abilities, as they held an all day drill at an abandoned residence in Midlothian.
Rick Winters, a member of the Shaft Volunteer Fire Department publicity committee noted that the day began with a training session to educate firemen from Shaft, Frostburg and Eastern Garrett County on the objectives and procedures to be followed during the drill.

Mr. Winters noted “They’ve (the firemen) been taught by books and in the station, but there is nothing like the real thing.
The house was donated for use by Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Hoban of Girard, Ohio. Most of the firemen who participated in the drill were young and new to the fire service. Mr. Winters explained that this drill also gave them an idea of how they will need to participate in a large fire endeavor.

The house that was used has been on fire twice before, Mr. Winters noted. They last fire reportedly gutted the structure. He went on to explain that the building was surrounded by other structures: a large apartment building below and a garage nearby; and a side area was grown over with grass creating another fire hazard. The building had been used before for smoke training. The worst problem the firemen encountered was exposure.
The drill was termed a success, Mr. Winters explained. Each fireman participating had an opportunity to try his skills at every part of fire fighting. Pumpers had been placed in a nearby creek and were manned by firemen while others were stationed around the house and grounds. Mr. Winters explained that all of the firemen had the opportunity to go inside the building and knock down spot fires.

Reserve trucks were placed in different fire stations during the drill. At the scene of the drill itself, Shaft had four trucks, Frostburg three and an ambulance and Eastern Garrett had two trucks. Communications were handled by Civil Defense.

Chief Aaron Winters of Shaft headed up the fire fighting operations. He was assisted by Joseph Durst, Chief of the Frostburg Fire Department and Fred Arnold of the Eastern Garrett County Fire Department. Chief Winters handled the planning details before the drill was held. Firemen rechecked the structure at 5 p.m. the same evening as the drill.

The nearly 150 year old structure which was one of the first homes built in Midlothian, was a hazard to the community’s safety, Mr. Winters explained. He added that any area residence having a structure that they would be willing to donate for use during a drill are asked to call Civil Defense and ask for the name of the local fire chief. They are then asked to call the fire chiefs, and indicate their willingness to donate the structure for use in a drill.

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