The Holden Fire Department hosted a live-burn training exercise Saturday, May 16 that included firefighters from Holden and Paxton as well as regional recruit class trainees from Holden, Princeton, and Boylston.
The day-long event featured over 30 firefighters and trainees broken into teams to practice burning-building entry and roof breaching, setting fires and extinguishing them in rooms throughout a vacant house on Fisher Road. The teams practiced a variety of entry and fire suppression skills using a wide range of equipment including chain saws and other cutting tools. Eventually the house, which had been donated by the property owner, was allowed to burn to the ground.
“These live burn exercises are a crucial training tool for our firefighters,” stated Holden Fire Chief Jack Chandler. “We’re fortunate not to have a lot of building fires in Holden, but that means our firefighters don’t get as much hands-on experience fighting real fires as we’d like. Having the opportunity to periodically train using a controlled building fire such as the one Saturday is invaluable.”
In addition to the firefighters and trainees, Holden’s community emergency response team (Holden CERT) also took part in the exercise, providing standby rehabilitation services as well as food and drink for the participants.