November 8, 2012
Mayor Vaughn Spencer, along with Building Inspector Brian Nicary, and Legal Specialist Fred Lachat joined the 12 new probationary firefighter recruits at the Reading Fire Academy and entered a simulated fire during a training exercise this morning. The three were invited to take part in the scheduled live burn session by Fire Chief Dave Hollinger and Fire Marshal Todd Iaeger in order to better illustrate the need of strict code enforcement in the City.
Iaeger performed a 2-part flash-over simulation in front of several invited officials from the City and County including Councilwoman Donna Reed, that showed the effectiveness of sprinklers in a simulated living room quickly extinguishing a fire, compared to how quickly a room will become fully engulfed without any sprinkler system.
The Mayor, Nicary, and Lachat then donned full firefighters gear and entered the training building where a fire had been set to simulate a fire in a commercial, high-rise setting.
“I couldn’t see anything, “said Mayor Spencer. “The smoke is so thick. We had to feel our way down the hall until we reached the room that the fire had been set in. I can’t imagine these firefighters entering buildings not knowing the floor plan and not being able to see. The other significant point was I almost fell over from the weight of the gear on my back when I stood up after kneeling outside the door. These men and women really have a difficult job.”
Mayor Spencer also related how he could feel the heat of the fire on his neck, even with all the gear he had on. “This really gives you an appreciation for what our firefighters do,” he added.
City of Reading