Part of my volunteer work for Eastside Fire & Rescue Fire Corps involved helping out with non-suppression activities at the Washington State fire training facility east of Seattle. Activities included everything from setting up tables, carting crates of water around to different stops, running errands, and filling air bottles.
This is a model used to simulate an airplane fire:
This section simulates a fuel-based fire (such as a car accident):
and, finally, a simulated building fire. The top-floor on this building has been condemned (structural integrity lost over the years). They spend the morning loading the wooden pallets on floors and lighting them to generate lots of smoke. There is a simulated accident where they have to haul an injured person downstairs.
These are air bottles that we fill up. The firefighter systems are such that we can pop the old one off the back, insert the new and let them get back while we refill it…
using a fancy machine like this that can do two bottles at a time. The ones you see here are being prepped for filling next – the actual bottle filling is done inside the reinforced vault so if there’s an explosion, we aren’t injured. Filling a pair of bottles takes about two minutes.
This is a fire training class filling their own bottles. These men and women were very fit.