Firefighters take on “flashover training” in Jackson

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – When a fire breaks out, many try to escape the flames but firefighters do the opposite.

Oakland Community College fire training instructor Nick Miller says knowing how quickly a building catches fire can be a matter of life or death.

“We want to teach these firefighters how to recognize those signs,” said Miller.

It’s called a “flashover” and that’s when everything inside a room reaches a temperature so high it automatically bursts into flames.

“They happen so fast, they’re so very intense,” Miller stated.

To experience what happens during this type of emergency, firefighters from across the state participated in a “flashover training” that took place in a burn trailer.

“They get to experience and see what flashovers are while they’re inside here,” said Miller.

When a flashover happens, Miller says a room can reach up to 1,000 degrees but these firemen, while training, take on 2-300 degree heat.

“It was hot, I mean at the beginning it wasn’t too bad but as the fire builds it got extremely hot,” said Firefighter David Thomas.

Thomas is among the many firefighters who took on the training and he says it helps him to feel prepared for a real life situation.

“This was a good learning experience to show how you can see the different stages of a flashover before it happens,” Thomas stated.

Firefighters are trained to not only look for hot spots, but also use their instincts.

“You can’t train enough but I mean stuff like this is invaluable,” said Thomas.

“At the end of the day our job is very, very dangerous and these classes, this classroom we have behind us allows them to recognize signs to be able to do that job safely,” Miller stated.

To better prepare them as first responders.

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