Hamilton County firefighters training for busy winter season

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Dozens of firefighters from eight local departments are training for the busy winter season on Wednesday at the Colerain Fire Headquarters at 4160 Springdale Road.

Colerain Township, Forest Park, Glendale, Greenhills, Mount Healthy, North College Hill and Woodlawn are all part of the Midwest Fire Chiefs Association of Hamilton County participating in this training exercise.

Colerain Fire Captain Chris Hopkins stressed the importance of training together so they can communicate and be on the same page when they're called as mutual aid to each others' fires. He said winter is particularly dangerous for fires.

"When all your stuff's in your living space and then you're always in your living space because it's cold, you tend to get something up against your water heater or something against your furnace or use a space heater, and your dog pulls on a rug or something and inadvertently gets over against the rug or the rug against the space heater," Hopkins said. "Real-life Christmas trees are always a danger but with modern electrical you don't have the heat generation that you used to have, but they're still very easy to catch those on fire."

Hopkins said the firefighters train specifically for situations where garage fires spread into homes and how to make second floor rescues.

They'll host another training exercise on Saturday. By that day, approximately 160 firefighters from all the departments will have received this training on five live burn scenarios including multi-story and basement fires by midday Saturday. 

Another 27 firefighters, representing 10 additional fire departments from across both Hamilton and Butler counties will have been proctored in the skills and safety procedures to eventually become certified live burn instructors for their own fire departments in part by both observation and participation during these live burn exercises.

The member departments of the Midwest Fire Chiefs Association operate under the same Standard Operating Guidelines and have provided automatic aid to structure fires within each member department's jurisdiction for nearly 10 years.

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