>MUNRO Ship’s Journal – LTJG McCabe

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To continue on with our ever-present goal of qualifying all new personnel in the Damage Control field, the Damage Control Training Team and members of the Damage Control Division rigged a life-like simulation of a smoke-filled space. Using the Windlass Room in the forward part of the ship, we shut down ventilation and used a smoke machine to completely fill the space with smoke while darkening the space and adding a muted red light to simulate fire. Our unqualified members donned a full Fire Fighter Ensemble (FFE) with SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) while the hose team Nozzleman attached a Fire Warrior to his/her helmet. The Fire Warrior is a device used as a means of visually navigating your way through a smoke and/or fire-filled space. It is a thermal imager that allows the wearer to see temperature variations in a space that one would normally be unable to see clearly due to intense smoke and fire. You can use it to identify personnel casualties that would be otherwise hidden in a smoke filled environment. Crew members were all given the chance to use the Fire Warrior to work their way through the darkened and smoke-filled space, identifying a personnel casualty (another crewmember lying prone on the deck in the corner), and guiding their hose team back out of the space. The training gave crewmembers a chance to see what type of environment they would have to work their way through to fight a fire or rescue personnel. Most crewmembers enjoyed the evolution, while others had to be coached through with some encouragement. It can be a rather daunting task to don a full FFE and SCBA, and some people dislike the confining nature of all of the gear. All in all, it was a successful training evolution and many members enjoyed themselves.

Photo: Unqualified crewmembers don the FFE and SCBA in a simulated firefighting environment. The Nozzleman (front) wears the Fire Warrior on the helmet and searches for the unconscious crewmember in the smoke-filled space.

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