Home Hall grand The GRFD is looking for volunteers for a fire drill at height

The GRFD is looking for volunteers for a fire drill at height


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids is looking for victims.

On June 25, the Grand Rapids Fire Department will be holding a high-rise fire training exercise and needs volunteers to role-play victims in the disaster simulation.

The nine-story Grand Rapids City Hall will be the site for the exercise. The Town is looking for approximately 35 volunteers aged 16 and over.

If you volunteer, you might be able to test your acting skills.

“One of those volunteers may be someone who has been knocked unconscious and is unable to exit the building and needs to be actually rescued,” Grand Rapids Director of Emergency Management Allison said. Farola.

She adds that a makeup artist will make those injuries as real as possible.

“Impalations, bruises, blood. And then we give them a victim card that tells them a bit more about their injury, and then they can take action if they feel comfortable doing so,” Farole said.

It’s one thing to walk into a burning house and save a victim. It’s another if that victim is several stories up in the air.

The June 25 exercise will test the skills of local firefighters on how to fight a fire and rescue victims who may not be able to escape on their own.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department is hosting, but first responders from across the county will also participate.

“It’s a really fun and interactive event for community members to get them involved. It helps them see a bit of what’s going on too,” Farole said. “We basically do everything that would happen in a real incident, but without the fire.”

There are about a dozen skyscrapers, defined as 13 stories or higher, in downtown Grand Rapids. You may live, work or occasionally visit one. Just as the fire department prepares for an emergency in a skyscraper, so should you.

The first step is to make sure you have an exit plan before you need one.

“What are the exit points in your building?” Understand where evacuation maps are posted,” Farole said of the signs that are typically located next to stairwells and elevators on each floor.

The exit plan will take you to a stairwell, which is usually pressurized when the fire alarm goes off.

“What it does is it puts a positive pressure on it, so if smoke were to enter it from people coming out of the fire floor, it would be immediately expelled from the HVAC system,” the deputy chief of the service said. Grand Rapids Fire, Jack Johnson.

Of course, the elevator would be faster. But this faster route could get you in a lot of trouble.

“We call it a chimney in a skyscraper. Because it’s an open shaft that goes from the ground floor to the roof,” Johnson said.

And the first place the smoke wants to go is up.

“So the first place he will want to go is in this elevator shaft. Fill this elevator shaft and lift. If the heat gets in there, it can damage the controls and you could get stuck in the elevator,” Johnson said.

If the fire has started in the room you are in, be sure to close the door behind you when escaping. This will keep the fire inside the room, slowing the spread.

Volunteers should book approximately six and a half hours from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the June 25 event. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Sign up to volunteer here.

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