Under the watchful eye of the Mifflin Township Division of Fire, a building on Agler Road in Gahanna, formerly home to Graphic Directions and behind the CVS, will be used for firefighting training.
Firefighters will utilize the house at 324 Agler Rd. for structural fire training on Sunday, Nov. 15. Training will be conducted in the morning and will last throughout the afternoon. Residents will see fire vehicles along Agler Rd. to the east of CVS beginning at 9 a.m. and fire training will begin shortly after.
Firefighters will practice firefighting, search and rescue and other procedures encountered during real firefighting situations by setting controlled fires in the structure, before the final burning of the house in the early afternoon.
“These hands-on, live training opportunities give our firefighters a chance to practice drills in a safer, controlled environment, without having to incur the cost of creating a structure for the sole purpose of destroying it,” said Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser. “This training is critical to improving our firefighters’ knowledge of equipment, communications and decision-making capabilities, so that we are ready for our residents, when they need us.”
Care will be taken to avoid disrupting traffic. Only the northern lane of Agler Road will be utilized for staging fire equipment and cars will be about to reach destinations east of the training. Signage on Route 62 and Agler Road will alert drivers to the training exercises. For residents who wish to watch, the public is asked to maintain a safe distance outside of the yellow caution tape for the protection of both residents and Mifflin Township firefighters.
The final decision to begin the fire exercise will be weather dependent. No fires will occur when inclement weather would produce smoke low to the ground, or when winds would blow smoke directly into neighboring homes or businesses.
Battalion Chief Jeff Wright, the training officer for this exercise, is in the process of personally notifying adjacent property owners about the training. Residents with questions can reach him by calling (614) 471-0542.
“Public safety is our first priority and I want to be able to respond to any questions or concerns personally,” said Wright.
The Mifflin Township Division of Fire adheres to strict safety guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), and much work goes into preparing a house prior to using it for training. For example, any fuel, windows, carpet and wiring all must be removed prior to burning. For more detailed guidelines established by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, visit http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/41/sb/publications/burninghouse.pdf
Mifflin Township has a fire department that serves the city of Gahanna and unincorporated township areas. The division has four fire stations, and employs 74 full time firefighter/paramedics, six full or part-time fire prevention officers and 23 full or part-time dispatchers. Responding to more than 6,870 calls for emergency medical service and 1,558 fire related calls, the township responded to a total of 8,428 calls for assistance in 2014.