Twelve firefighters from the Bramhall Fire Station have been receiving special operations training this week. Brahmall Station is the place from which special operations are conducted for Portland. Such training could cost between $1,500. – $2,000 per student, but thanks to a grant received by Portland, the firefighters are receiving this training completely free.
The property used for this special training is the former Rufus Deering Lumber Yard belonging to developer Joe Dasco. Tomorrow, Friday, October 12 will be the last day the instructors can use this property because it is expected to be demolished soon to make way for a new condo/hotel development according to Alex Rangel, an instructor with the program.
According to Lt. Chris Tillotson, confined space deaths are usually multiple. They can include sewers, tanks, hoppies and ships. These are the places where oxygen gets eaten up quickly.
The rubber tubes through which students must traverse are 24 inches wide and the length of them is 12-15 feet. They are in search of victims and when found must return them to the original site. Each course takes about an hour to complete. Clastrophobia can occur and instructors help students overcome it said instructor Enrique E. Perea. “Each day of the course we make it harder. The course gets more complicated each day. It begins simply and then we add more each day,” Perea said. “These firefighters are steller. They as good as they can be.”
Portland Fire Department Chief Keith Gautreau visited the site this afternoon. “This is an invaluable training experience for us. It would cost us a lot of money to try to duplicate this training.”