Ventilation training

Sparks fly as a chainsaw hits roofing nails while cutting a ventilation hole.

Capt. Mike Downs and former San Andreas Fire member Devin Strehl collaborated on March 5 to offer a special hands-on training in cutting ventilation holes.

Downs provided a soon-to-be-demolished structure and burn barrel to generate non-toxic smoke. Strehl provided his years of experience to guide each team as it climbed to the roof and used tools including chain saws, pike poles and axes to safely cut ventilation openings.

Much of the training was conducted during driving rain. Both trainees and seasoned firefighters enjoyed it so much that they asked Downs to organize it again sometime soon.

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