The Maplewood Fire Department began conducting training exercises in the interior of the former post office building on Maplewood Avenue on Thursday. Photographer Joy Yagid was given permission to photograph the exercises.
The exercise was a search and rescue of a downed firefighter, said Yagid. Firefighters placed a personal alarm on a 200-lb. training dummy that goes off if a firefighter stops moving or is trapped. Generally, the MFD fills the space with smoke in a training exercise, but in this case, the building was completely dark so it was unnecessary.
The rescue team had to crawl on their hands and knees to find the downed firefighter and pull him out. The difficulty was that the alarm reverberated off all the hard surfaces. The team used a rope line and did a righthand search, keeping their right hands on the wall and following it.
Chief Michael Dingelstedt said he was very grateful for these opportunities. “Real world training is always best,” he said.
The training exercises will continue daily, including weekends, until site preparation for the building demolition begins. Training times will vary. The Fire Department will park their engines in the loading dock area.
See our photo gallery below; click on any photo to begin. All photos credit Joy Yagid.