Tuesday, July 16, 2024

San Pedro Fire Station conducts simulation exercise


To better respond to fire emergencies in San Pedro Town, the local fire service conducted a simulation exercise on Thursday, February 8th, along one of the busiest streets in the downtown area. The exercise evaluated the fire station’s ability to execute an efficient deployment strategy to contain a fire disaster and save property and lives.
The fire mock drill was held shortly after 10AM, responding to the simulated emergency at the Sancas Plaza building. This commercial building in the downtown area houses several businesses ranging from real estate to eateries and ice cream parlors, including government offices, among others. The activity also saw coordinated assistance from the San Pedro Traffic Department, Belize Electricity Limited, and ambulance services.
Fire Chief Orin Smith explained that the exercise simulates a fire at a multipurpose complex. The activity saw the responding crew in a situation requiring firefighters to function in the capacity they would have as if the problem was a live event. “One of the main tasks is preventing the expected build-up of the situation,” said Smith. “We also test the person in charge of the crew for his or her ability to coordinate, contain, and control the incident.” These capabilities include information gathering, briefing, and crew and deployment strategy deployment.

The fire crew participating in the drill followed such instructions, gathered information from someone onsite, and evaluated the magnitude of the fire. Next, water hoses (defense lines) were extended along the building parking lot to protect anything or anyone most threatened by the fire. Some firefighters analyzed the fire from one area, while some victims were evacuated and handed over to the medical team onsite. At the same time, the BEL crew turned off the electricity supply within the area’s perimeter.
The essential exercise ended when offensive and defensive lines were deployed, water was discharged, and the rescue of persons was complete. The fire engines were aided by nearby hydrants, which helped the crew contain the “blaze” threatening to spread to nearby structures.
The San Pedro Fire Station thanked those participating in the simulation exercise. The activity is expected to take place in other areas across town. These drills proved to provide the first responders with organizational coordination. They allowed those involved to understand their expected roles better, improve their performance, and gain experience without disaster.

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