The Reason for the Denver Drill

I recently had the pleasure to spend some time with Chief Dave McGrail from the Denver Fire Department. Besides discussing high rise and stand pipe operations, we talked about the Denver Drill and the circumstances from which it was derived.

Most have heard the story of Mark Langvardt and the fire that took his life. The following videos show just how difficult it was for Denver firefighters to rescue firefighter Langvardt. You can see the desperation and helplessness on their faces as they work to exhaustion to save their downed Brother. They were doing everything that they could to rescue him and were met with almost impossible conditions and a situation that they were not familiar with.

This is why we need to learn the lessons that our Brothers and Sisters all over the country can teach us about training for situations like this. We must train for and be prepared for bad things to happen. We cannot take a day off from training and we have to take RIT seriously, no matter how “routine” the fire seems to be.

Please remember Mark Langvardt and the Denver Fire Department while watching these videos and all the others who have sacrificed. We owe it to them to train hard and often and to learn from those experiences.

Stay safe and be a Bulldog about training. It makes all the difference in the world.

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

AFFOWE Calandar

October 2010
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