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Alexandria firefighters perform drills at Bishop Ireton High School’s Oblate House

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The Oblate House, a building on the Bishop Ireton High School campus in Alexandria, is the site of extensive training exercises for the Alexandria Fire Department July 21 and 23. At least 50 firefighters will train both days.

The training includes forcing entry through locked doors; cutting a hole in the roof to ventilate heat, smoke, fire gases; opening up dry wall to look for a hidden fire; stretching hose lines to the third floor to simulate a fire in a third-floor bedroom; and using theatrical smoke to create a no-visibility situation to then search for victims.



“We have an excellent relationship with the Alexandria Fire Department and we knew this building was coming down,” said Peter Davey, director of operations at Ireton. “Most of the time they only get training in single-family houses that are going to be demolished and that is hard for them if they have to fight apartment fires or something like that. These guys have to go into harm’s way and it is better to have them trained and use this place for something good rather than just let it come down.”

“We have a concrete building at the fire department training ground and you can light fires over and over again, but a different layout like the Oblate House is invaluable,” said Alexandria Fire Department Capt. Josh Turner, field-training officer at the Alexandria Fire Department in a press release. He said the Oblate House looks like an apartment building. “The realism of the hallways and stairwells is fantastic.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017