Firefighters Learn Hands-On

by Audry Kensicki on May 13, 2010 at 6:11 am

Ohio firefighters and fire investigators got some hands on experience inspecting and learning about arsons.

It’s not every day firefighters and fire investigators get to stand around and watch a fire. But Thursday, it was all in the name of learning.

"In terms of the arson fires, this is going to help us in the long run to catch the suspects, determine how it started," said Zanesville Firefighter and Investigator Doug Hobson.

About 30 firefighters from across the state are taking part in the three-day seminar called "Up in Smoke," which is sponsored by the International Association of Arson Investigators.

The first day the learning is done in the classroom, but on day two, it’s hands on training.

"We are known for being hands on," said Hobson. "Nothing against other seminars, but hen you go and sit in the classroom all day, that’s kind of tough. These guys love the Zanesville seminar because they know that in about 30 minutes, they’re going to get in there and find out where I set the fire.

The group secured a trailer to be an interactive part of the the learning process.

"There was a fire set in this trailer," Hobson said. "Once the fire is extinguished, the 32 gentlemen that are here from around the state, determine the origin and cause, collect samples and determine what started this fire."

There are many different types of fires and it is critical for firefighters to be able to spot the origin and the cause, especially when it comes to arsons.

This year’s theme "Up in Smoke" is also focusing on cigarettes.

"We’re giving the guys a chance to go back and see if they can find the filter for the cigarette and seeing if the fire-safe cigarettes are
truly what they’re supposed to be," he said.

But, no matter which type of cigarettes you do smoke, safety should always be your number one concern.

"Please be safe," said Hobson. "That’s all we can say. You can see behind me, this is what it can turn out to be."