NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - One boat in flames can potentially destroy an entire marina, and the North Myrtle Beach Fire Department wants to be ready to handle these scenarios.
The Fire Department hit the dock beginning Tuesday, for three days of special training. The goal in this training is to give firefighters hands on experience, by going through the proper steps if there were to be a real fire on a boat, docked in a marina.
Fire crews are using the BullEx Digital Fire Attack Training System, they got in 2014. This technology creates simulated flames and smoke, without causing actual harm to the area.
The crews are timed on response, stretching lines, establishing water supply and doing everything they would need to do if this was an actual emergency.
The group even reviews each training session, to critique and learn from their performance.
"It's a little bit different training for them, something they're not used to, gets them out of their comfort zones," North Myrtle Beach Division Chief of Fire Training Billy Floyd, Jr, said, "It gets them better prepared so if we do actually have that real emergency that they're a little bit more knowing of what needs to be done with it."
Since North Myrtle Beach Fire gets called out to structure fires and car crashes the most, Chief Floyd says it's what the department has the most experience with, and is the best prepared for, but it's important for them to be ready for every scenario which may happen.
"It's those unusual calls that are the ones that are the ones that could potentially injure us or kill our firefighters so we want to make sure we're as prepared as possible for those," he said.
The goal is to get as much practice, to be able to respond faster to you, if a boat fire were to happen.
In the case of a real emergency, they'd be calling in additional resources, but for training purposes, they're using just their department, to get each person as much experience as possible, so they're ready for the real thing.
"Thankfully, we don't have a lot of boat fires inside the dock but it's a serious threat and if we do have a fire going there's potential that fire could spread very rapidly so we want to make sure our guys are best prepared," Chief Floyd said.
In order to make sure all three fire department shifts are covered, the training they are undergoing will last three days and stretch across four marina's.
The Fire Department does not anticipate any road closures or inconvenience to you, during this training.
Here's a list of the training locations and times:
- Barefoot Marina Start Time 8:45am-9:30am time frame. Completion time 9:45am-10:30am time frame (C-Dock)
- Doc Holiday’s Marina Start Time 11:00am-11:45am time frame. Completion time 12:00pm-12:45pm time frame (B-Dock)
- Harbourgate Marina Start Time 3:00pm-3:30pm time frame. Completion time 4:00pm-4:30pm time frame (B-Dock)
- Anchor Marina- Walk through only, to be completed after wrapping up at Harbourgate Marina (All Docks)