Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu

Sapulpa Fire Department supports Tulsa cadet training at OSU

Friday, February 24, 2006

STILLWATER - Outdoor activities prohibited by the burn ban also include fires for prospective firefighter training. As a result of a partnership with Sapulpa Fire Department, OSU Fire Service Training, the chief source of training and educational materials for firefighters in the state, ensured that 35 Tulsa Fire Department cadets could continue theirs.

Academy cadets training to join the Tulsa Fire Department recently participated in live burn exercises at OSU Fire Service Training’s professional skills center west of Stillwater. The drills were conducted with a live burn trailer on loan to OSU-FST by Sapulpa Fire Department.

The $300,000 apparatus was purchased by Sapulpa Fire Department with a grant from the FEMA office of Domestic Preparedness’ Assistance to Firefighters program. Fueled by propane, it supersedes the use of ordinary combustibles and flammable liquids typically ignited for live burn exercises in normal conditions. Consequently, OSU Fire Service Training received approval from the state fire marshal to conduct exercises with the trailer.

“The trailer is a very useful piece of equipment, and, thanks to Sapulpa Fire Department, we have access to it just about any time we want,” said Bryan West, facilities manager at the professional skills center. “It’s completely self-contained and there is no risk of starting a wildfire, which should put our neighbors out here at ease as we continue to provide training during the burn ban.”

Sapulpa Fire Department’s successful application for the firefighter assistance grant to purchase the trailer included the condition it be used in the training of other Oklahoma firefighters. SFD is a longtime partner of OSU Fire Service Training – recently donating a pumper truck to OSU.

“Since 9/11, there has been a national emphasis that fire departments learn to work together better,” said Sapulpa Fire Department Capt. Dannie Whitehouse. “We’ve had to become more regional in the way we operate and that has meant learning each other’s deployment methods, what kind of equipment everybody uses and adopting common command procedures.

“Training together helps facilitate that,” he said. “[Partnering with OSU] is really a win-win for us because firefighters from across the state come here for their IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) certification.”

The Tulsa cadets began their training last fall and participated in the live burn exercises as part of their Fighter I and Firefighter II testing. Inside the trailer with temperatures approaching 350 degrees, they experienced battling bedroom, kitchen and room rollover fires.

The trailer’s features – including adjustable room and door panels, moveable burn pans and replaceable artificial props – supports the simulation of multiple live-fire environments. The top is also an operational platform, allowing firefighters to train in confined space rescue and learn fundamentals such as advancing hose up or down stairs and how to vent a roof.

Viewing the action and communicating constantly with a safety officer inside the burn area, Whitehouse and Tulsa Fire Department Capt. Dannie Caldwell raised and lowered the flames from the trailer’s control center.

“It’s a controlled environment so nobody gets hurt,” Caldwell said. “The fire burns long enough that they get a chance to spray the fire and see how it reacts.”

“With the burn ban, we can’t burn wood. We can’t burn hay. And we can’t burn incendiaries such as Excelsior,” he said “But at a time like this in Oklahoma, you can’t just not train new firefighters. This is a safe way to do it without harming the environment or causing any fires.”

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.