On Sat. Oct. 1, my family and I had been out driving down Henderson Highway on our annual hunt for a large carving pumpkin. By chance, we came across the St. Clements Narol Fire Hall #3 Open House.
As we had my two grandkids with us, we decided to stop to check it out. We were glad we did as there was a very interesting demonstration going on when we arrived.
There were two cars that were used to simulate a situation where a vehicle had been in a serious collision.
The first demo we saw was when the crew removed the windshield. They used a manual tool made by Glas Master that seemed to slice through the windshield like butter, although I’m sure some elbow grease was involved as well.
You’ve probably heard the term “Jaws of Life”. That term refers to any of the various hydraulic tools used to enable rescue workers to extricate accident victims from their crushed vehicle.
The next demonstration involved the removal of the roof. A hydraulic pump operates the large shears (the cutter) which slices through all four roof support columns.
I was surprised at how quickly they were able to cut through the steel and remove the entire roof. Roof removal is sometimes necessary in order to gain access to administer first aid and to extricate the accident victim.
A hydraulic spreader is used to separate steel. For example, an accident victims legs may be lodged when the car has crumpled around the area. The spreader is placed in the closed position, much like the end of a clothes pin, then slowly opened up to spread apart the steel or vehicle frame.
In the photo below it is being used to lift up the side of the vehicle so that cribbing can be installed underneath. Cribbing is made of blocks of wood used to help support and stabilize the vehicle.
The Fire Prevention Trailer visits various special events to educate children (and adults too) on how to stay safe should they encounter a fire. It is set up to resemble a small home, complete with fake fires.
Wally Fey, who was demonstrating in the trailer, showed us the thermal imaging camera. It is so heat sensitive that a recently placed hand on the wall that was removed left behind an image visible in the camera.
My grandson went into the “bedroom”, which was filled with simulated smoke so thick I could not see him from a few feet away. The camera, however, was able to show the operator his image. This pretty amazing tool is used to locate somebody whom they could not otherwise see in a fire.
This annual open house was not only informative, it was fun for the kids. They had hotdogs and I believe I saw a cake, a colouring station, face painting, balloons, and a “goodie bag” complete with plastic firefighter’s hat for each child. Watch for it next year!