LSC Offering Firefighting Training in New Burn Box Steel Building

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: March 15, 2019 06:57 PM

LSC's fire training program is expanding training opportunities for their students and for firefighters across the state with customized classes at their new multi-story burn box training facility in Duluth at the Emergency Response Training Center.

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"What we're trying to do is build more and more training buildings on sight so we can host more and more advanced training here. We're not trying to wait for acquired structure or somebody to donate a house where we get that training once a year,” Damon Laurion, a Duluth firefighter and an LSC burn instructor, said.

The burn box structure is made out of recycled steel shipping containers. It’s able to be used over and over again for burn scenarios. On the inside, it's built similar to an apartment building and commercial storefront. It features windows, doors, hallways, and stairwells to simulate a real firefighting emergency.

"It’s training and skill set they walk away with. It’s something when we have a fire or emergency, they're expected to know how to do right away," Laurion said.

Students and firefighters learn a variety of firefighting tactics. Fire departments from Cloquet, Duluth, and as far away as St. Paul and Milwaukee joined in on the forced entry training Friday.

"We learn how to properly open the door and cap control incase fire comes out. It’s mainly practice repetition,” Gus Abrahamson, an LSC student in the firefighter training program and volunteer firefighter for Grand Lakes, said. "It doesn't feel like school because this is a great experience. We get to come here everyday and be with people who are almost like family and the instructors are great."

"We are getting the basics down this afternoon. We'll be going in the rip shack and they'll light barrels on fire so we have zero visibility and heat and that's when it gets realistic,” Bob Mielke, from the Duluth Fire Department, said.

The scenarios are as realistic as possible to what a firefighter would experience on the job. With the way the burn box is made, this offers the opportunity for consistent training to get better and faster with each firefighting tactic.

"Repetition is going to be good practice for us for a real life situation because a lot of times you have a lot going on in your head as a firefighter,” Abrahamson said.


Alejandra Palacios

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