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Shelter Island Fire Department trains to save lives

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, about 20  Shelter Island Fire Department volunteers, under the direction of Chief Dan Rasmussen, had a training exercise at the abandoned house at 40 North Ferry Road, next to town Hall. The town-owned structure, deemed unsafe, is set to be demolished.

Island firefighters on the roof of the building, preparing to “vent” the roof to let smoke out and allow volunteers to enter from above. (Credit: Jim Colligan)

The exercise involved techniques for working in a smoke-filled house where individuals may be trapped inside. Chief Rasmussen said a smoke machine was used to fill the house.

The firefighters consisted of  two teams, along with Fire Police volunteers directing traffic. The “exterior” team sent firefighters to the roof of the building “to vent” the roof and allow smoke to clear, and to cut holes to enter the top floors.

Firefighters exiting the interior of the building. (Credit: Jim Colligan)

The “interior”  team went into the structure to search for people, and practiced techniques on communicating with each other, how to navigate hallways and rooms with limited visibility without injuring themselves.