This fall, the Yakima Fire Department (YFD) and West Valley Fire Department (WVFD) will have training opportunities thanks to the cooperation of the West Valley School District.
As the West Valley School District’s (WVSD) Apple Valley and Summitview elementary school buildings are being prepared for demolition, WVSD is partnering with local first responders for an opportunity for invaluable trainings. The abatement and demolition permitting process will take approximately two months. This gives WVSD freedom to allow first responders to take their time to train in the buildings.
“We appreciate the West Valley School District’s partnership in granting first responders these training opportunities,” said Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham. “These live exercises will help YFD’s firefighters practice crucial life-saving skills.”
“Training in a large area will allow us to enhance our skills that we apply at schools, commercial buildings, and large apartment buildings,” said YFD Deputy Chief Patrick Reid.
Trainings will include large area searches, extending a charged hose line into a building for long distances, firefighter situational awareness, self-rescue drills and evacuating smoke from a building.
WVFD Training Captain Jim Johnston wants residents to know the department will be using artificial non-toxic smoke in their trainings and they should not be alarmed if they see smoke emitting from the buildings.
“The opportunity to train in a structure such as this is very important to our team. It allows us to train in ways that aren’t very common or readily available to us,” said Johnston.
“The West Valley School District feels fortunate these buildings can serve in strengthening our communities before their demolition,” said WVSD Communications Director Anjerie Nemrow.
The Apple Valley Elementary School building is located at 7 North 88th Avenue. The Summiview Elementary School building is located at 6305 West Chestnut Avenue.