Abandoned house burned to help Bainbridge Public Safety officers train on firefighting

image2Anyone who saw brown smoke rising above Bainbridge early Monday morning should be reassured it was just firefighters’ training drill.

Bainbridge Public Safety officers set fire to a condemned home on the 700 block of Potter Street early Monday. BPS Fire Chief Doyle Welch said the purpose was two-fold: one, to clean up the property; and two, to give firefighters a rare chance to practice their skills in a realistic situation known as a live burn.

From June 2014 to June 2015, Bainbridge Public Safety responded to 60 fire calls, five rescue and EMS calls, 36 reports of hazardous conditions (such as a gas leak), seven service calls and multiple “good intent” calls.

The average time elapsed from the 911 dispatch to the first arrival of a fire truck was 3 minutes, 32 seconds (better than the ISO recommendation of 4 minutes) and the average time of arrival of a 2nd fire engine after the 911 call was 4 minutes, 18 seconds (better than the ISO recommendation of 8 minutes).

Within the last year, BPS officers have also had live burns of abandoned houses on Planter Street and 5th Avenue after their owners gave permission. Prior to those, there hadn’t been a live burn training exercise conducted since 1989, according to Welch. The large house on Planter Street was a good opportunity for area firefighters to learn; more than 122 students from Bainbridge, Thomasville, Cairo, Colquitt and other Southwest Georgia towns took part, Welch said.


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