Huxley, Slater, Cambridge and Kelley fire departments participate in live fire training event

Lynn Marr-Moore Contributing Writer
A house owned by the Ballard School District was set on fire Saturday, which offered invaluable training to four local fire departments. Approximately 30 firefighters from Huxley, Slater, Cambridge and Kelley took part in the controlled burn training. Photo by Lynn Marr-Moore

This past year has been a difficult one for the Huxley Fire and Rescue. A couple of major house fires have totally destroyed homes and took the lives of two residents.

Training is critical to any fire department, according to Kevin Deaton, deputy fire chief of Huxley Fire and Rescue.

“Live fire training is invaluable,” commented Deaton.

Saturday, the Huxley Fire Department, Slater Fire Department, Cambridge Fire Department and Kelley Fire Department cashed in on some major training as they all participated in a controlled burn in Huxley.

During a three-hour controlled burn of a two-story home in Huxley, owned by the Ballard School District, firefighters were able to experience much more than they could in a simulator.

“While simulators can give us somewhat of a visual, there is a greater learning experience with an actual live, controlled fire,” Deaton added. “For the firefighters involved, they really didn’t know what to expect, similar to an actual fire situation when responding to a 911 call.”

The actual fire — from ignition until the house was on the ground — took three hours with approximately 30 firefighters taking part in the burn. Deaton said that the training involved fire behavior, interior fire attack, interior attacks, transitional fire attack, fire control and teamwork exercises.

“It did get a little hectic when there were two actual rescue calls that came in during the actual burn portion, so we got a little shorthanded for a while,” added Deaton.