New Tool for Fire Training

Michael Heller

    The East Hampton Fire Department has unveiled its newest tool for firefighter training: a roofed structure built low to the ground to allow East End fire companies to practice the important skill of cutting open roofs to vent fires, to prevent dreaded flashovers for those fighting fires inside buildings.

    The building, designed by the department’s Mike Forst, has a unique pitched roof, with one side being set at an angle that is easy for firefighters to walk on, and the other side set at a steep pitch difficult to navigate, especially when carrying a chain saw to cut open the roof.

    “A good vent makes for a safer fire inside,” Mr. Forst said. “It’s an essential practice for guys who aren’t used to being on a roof, especially with a chain saw.”

    Venting the inside of a structure on fire helps control the danger of a flash fire exploding through a room, Mr. Forst said.

     The money for the structure was collected by all of the East End fire companies that will use it for training. Labor and know-how were donated by various construction and contracting companies run by local volunteer firefighters.