Firefighters train on mobile structure; DFD to host BBQ May 14

Published 4:07 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

DOWAGIAC — On International Firefighters Day, local departments took some time to train for how to save more lives in the event of a fire.  

The Dowagiac City Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire Department held live-fire operations training on May 4 at the Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department. Using a mobile fire training structure provided by the Berrien County Firefighters Association, the departments trained on basement fire operations, search and rescue, and fire suppression.  

“There has been a steady decline in actual fires over the years,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tony Stewart, in a Facebook post. “However, fire related fatalities are on the rise and relatively, opportunities to train structural firefighting skills on the job have declined drastically.” 

The fire training structure creates a live burn situation for firefighters to contend with, and can create flashovers, backdrafts and other situations firefighters will deal with in an actual fire.  

“The main purpose and function of live fire training whether it is conducted in an acquired structure or burn trailer is to provide quality training in fire experience,” Stewart said. “Training toward realism while incorporating the proper skills and competencies for firefighters to increase fire ground safety and understanding. This is an excellent way of dealing with the real-world responses in structural firefighting. … We would like to thank The Berrien County Fireman’s Association, Pride Care Ambulance Service and Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department for housing the trailers.” 

DFD Hog Roast fundraiser

The Dowagiac Fire Department also will be hosting a BBQ Hog Roast event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Dowagiac Moose 933, 54867 M-51 N. Firefighters will be serving pulled pork meals for $10, with funds to go toward new supplies for the department like life jackets and surface water rescue equipment, according to Stewart. 

“Technology and equipment in the fire service is evolving rapidly,” Stewart said. “We are doing our absolute best to keep up to better serve our community.” 

The meal will include a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, potato salad, chips and a bottled water. Soda can be purchased for an additional charge.