Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters practiced using fire shelters during fire school today. The fire shelter is a lightweight, flexible shelter that firefighters carry when working on the fireline. If they become threatened with entrapment, firefighters deploy their fire shelters, crawl inside of it and wait until the danger passes.
The training is part of ODF’s fire school, which lasts much of the month of June. Fire school for Southwest Oregon District firefighters take place at the Medford and Grants Pass units’ offices.
Using a fire shelter takes practice. In an emergency, a firefighters doesn’t have time to read instructions, then figure out how to use a shelter. It must be a muscle-memory action.
When practicing fire shelter deployment, firefighters train with shelters that are made from reusable fabric (a real fire shelter in a single-use item) but which are of the identical size and shape of a real fire shelter. Trainees must demonstrate that they can deploy and crawl into the fire shelter in a few seconds.
For more information about fire shelters, watch the video.