A Consumption Drill Is Not What You Might Think

Training is a part of everyday life in a fire department and the Spring Fire Department takes that to the next level every day.

Today, firefighters at Station 71 are conducting Consumption Drills. That doesn’t mean they are eating as many hot dogs as they can. What they are doing is practicing necessary firefighter skills.

“A consumption drill is a series of stations,” explains Spring Fire Apparatus Operator Michael Alaniz. “Today, we are training with a hose drag, sled pull/push, tire flip, sledge hammer strikes, bucket carry, dummy drag, and a flight of stairs.”

If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. And it gets more intense.

“These drills are done in full PPE (personal protective equipment) while breathing air from an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), until the firefighter “vibes” or gets the low air alert, adds AO Alaniz. “The firefighter will continue to breathe air until the bottle is empty and then perform a MAYDAY drill, as if he is a downed firefighter at an incident.”

The purpose of these consumption drills is to keep firefighters comfortable breathing the compressed air from the tank while performing their job duties.

Photos by Apparatus Operator Michael Alaniz.