Firefighters Use New Training Tool to Practice Unsurvivable Flashover Fire
SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Fire Department acquired a flashover fire simulator last year and held its first training session using it over the weekend.
SAFD Training Battalion Chief Patrick Brody says the new trainer is vital in keeping firefighters safe while battling structure fires.
WATCH: Flashover firefighter training in action:
The simulator looks like a modified metal sea container. Safety officers and instructors hold a safety briefing before the simulation begins. Firefighters start a fire inside the simulator and then firefighter students in full gear enter the trainer and follow instructions.
Brody says the fire increases the temperature in the trainer to almost 1,100 degrees at the ceiling. The temperature at head height reaches about 300 degrees. “Our gear is rated around 400 to 500 degrees.” Said Brody.
A flashover fire is when everything in the structure ignites at the same time. “Flashover is an unsurvivable event.” Brody said.
The training helps students recognize the signs of a flashover fire and evacuate before it happens.
Brody says 18 students participated in the first flashover training; several were from the San Angelo Fire Department, some were from the Wall VFD, Grape Creek VFD and there were three international students there. Brody said this was the first of many training sessions planned for the new simulator.
Freddy DeAnda was the photojournalist on this story.