In advance of the impending demolition of the former Bellmawr Walgreens store, which will make way for a new Royal Farms, members of the Bellmawr Fire Department capitalized on a unique opportunity to use the empty commercial building for training purposes.
On Monday night, approximately 25 members of the all-volunteer Department attended the training session at the long closed pharmacy at Browning Road and the Black Horse Pike.
Under the direction of Chief Jim Burleigh, volunteers braved frigid temperatures as they ran through various scenarios in turnout gear and in the dark, which included access to the sprinkler system and the use of power tools to break through locked doors.
The volunteers spent several hours on site performing training exercises inside and outside of the building before heading up to the roof.
During one drill on the drive-through side, the piercing sounds of metal being cut could be heard while sparks flew from above. With Ladder 32 idling behind them, several firefighters climbed a ladder, one by one, while others stayed ground level bracing the ladder as the parking lot became slick with ice.
The Walreens building is set to be demolished later this week, according to a post dated January 31 on the Bellmawr Fire Department’s Facebook page. Fencing is now in place.
Training Exercises Included:
- Sprinkler operations. Volunteers hooked up and supplied an activated sprinkler system and witnessed its effectiveness.
- Ground ladder placement and techniques for ventilating a commercial building.
- Use of hand and power tools to gain entry through locked doors.
Well-Attended & Productive Night
The training was well-attended, the post noted. It was also a “productive night of training by a great group of dedicated members, always striving to be able to safely mitigate any type of emergency that they may be called to handle at any moment.”
More photos from the training can be viewed on the Bellmawr Fire Department’s Facebook page: