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Bailing out

Isaac Brambila
ibrambila@tahoedailytribune.com
Lake Valley Fire Protection District Capt. Chuck Malone demonstrates a last-minute bailout technique to escape a burning window. Malone escaped the building head first, hooking his right arm to the ladder and flipping his body before gripping the ladder between his feet and sliding to safety. Engineers Jan Bojsen-Moller, left, and Wes Long provide safety backup.
Isaac Brambila/Tahoe Daily Tribune |

MEYERS — Panic can take over easily. Finding yourself in a situation where you’re in a second or third floor, the flames are gaining strength, your exit is blocked, the heat is on and you’re losing ideas and options to safety as fast as hydration, can prove to hinder the thought process and speed.

Firefighters are expected to know what to do in that situation, but that doesn’t mean they inherently know what to do. Furthermore, the knowledge of what to do in that situation, like any other skill, can erode with time.

To counter that, firefighters regularly train to continue sharpening what they call “perishable skills.”

Fire personnel usually train daily for a variety of skills, Lake Valley Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Leona Allen said. Training can last anywhere from an hour to all day, depending on the complexity of the exercise.

Depicted in the following photo story, are firefighters training for different techniques for a last-minute bailout.

The scenario involved a burning building, limited options and equipment in a second story room with only a window to escape through. The exercise took place on Nov. 14 at the firehouse at the LVFPD Station 7 in Meyers.


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