demolition fire training house 092817_slide
Local News

Firefighters train at two Flossmoor houses prior to demolition

For nearly two years, the two houses near Flossmoor’s southwest corner had been vacant and scheduled for demolition. But before they were torn down, the structures were used to provide valuable training for firefighters from Flossmoor and other area communities.

  The house at 3601 198th St. in Flossmoor
  was used for fire training execises before
  it was demolished.
(Provided photos)
 

For nearly two years, the two houses near Flossmoor’s southwest corner had been vacant and scheduled for demolition.
 

But before they were torn down, the structures were used to provide valuable training for firefighters from Flossmoor and other area communities.
 
  Flossmoor firefighters
  practice line advancement
  and search techniques
  during training exercises
  at two vacant homes in the
  village before they were
  demolished.

 

The houses, at 3601 and 3752 198th St., were demolished during the third week in September. Flossmoor owns the property where the houses were located and other parcels east of the Meijer complex at Vollmer Road and Crawford Avenue. The village plans to develop those parcels for commercial use.  
 

Matt Berk, a Flossmoor Fire Department captain, said extensive training operations were conducted at the two houses prior to demolition. Training included hose deployment, ground and aerial ladder operation, search and rescue, forcible entry, ventilation, trench rescue and structural collapse.
 
“It is not every day that we get houses but when we do we try and get as much use out of them as we possibly can,” said Berk, the Flossmoor department’s training officer.
 
Firefighters from other towns in the MABAS 24 mutual aid district – including Homewood, Hazel Crest and Country Club Hills – also took part in the training. The Posen fire academy, in MABAS District 22, also used the houses to train firefighters.
 
In addition, the MABAS 24 fire academy utilized the houses to train entry level candidates who are learning to become firefighters, he said.
 
Training in this type of structure is “invaluable” to firefighters from Flossmoor and the other communities, Berk said.
 
“While being able to utilize acquired structures, firefighters are able to use their training in a real world setting instead of a fixed facility similar to a burn tower,” he said. “Hopefully one day we will be able to get funding for a fixed facility that could be used in a similar manner.”
 
No fires were allowed in the homes because such training operations must be permitted at different government levels. That was not possible given the logistics of the demolition deadline.
 
Berk said training took place at the houses with “scenarios that we face on a regular basis,” as well as for more unusual situations like trench rescues and structural collapse.
 
The Flossmoor village board approved a contract to demolish four homes in the area east of Meijer in December 2015. The two houses on 198th Street were the last of the four structures to be demolished.

Community Calendar

News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required
Most read stories this week