SAFD skills put to the test just days after training simulation completed

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by Phil Anaya / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @phil_anaya

kens5.com

Posted on October 4, 2011 at 6:46 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 4 at 7:01 AM

To someone who’s not a firefighter, the many voices and commands over a radio scanner during a fire might sound like gibberish. However, when fighting a fire communication is critical and training is essential.

That’s why the San Antonio Fire Department was training numerous battalion chiefs and captains for the real deal on Thursday. SAFD gave KENS 5 a behind the scenes look at the training that’s difficult to visualize but necessary to building leadership skills.
 
The training begins scripted and is played out by the battalion chief who is expected to organize the chaos. All communication is done using radios and the battalion chief eventually moves to the incident command bus where the real decisions are made during real fires.
 
The day KENS 5 was present for the training simulation the scenario was geared around an old abandoned downtown building on fire. A scenario Chief Charles Hood said was created as a no-win situation.
 
“The scenario was probably made for them to fail,” said Hood. “The thing we wanted to see is how they set up organizationally.”
 
The training KENS 5 was present for was Thursday. This past weekend the real deal played out. A 4-alarm fire at an older building downtown, an almost identical scenario to what Hood made his men train for.
 
“By going through that training it was an absolute blessing we had done that earlier this week,” said Hood.

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