Firefighters Do High-Rise Training at 17-Story Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
The drill for some personnel included ascending 10 to 12 flights of stairs in full turn-out gear with pressurized air tanks and lengths of hose on their backs while toting fans and other rescue gear.
The exercise is necessary each year because "with the multiple Indian casinos here within the county that are high-rise buildings we have a need to do this on an annual basis so that we're prepared and ready to respond," Cal Fire-Indio Battalion Chief Daniel Talbot told Patch at the training site in Rancho Mirage.
"This particular building is 17 stories in height and it is a hotel high-rise resort," Talbot said.
Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon is Riverside County's tallest building.
"Casino Morongo, it's 27 floors, with the attic it's 28," Talbot said.
Firefighters have responded to small fires and other incidents in tall buildings in recent years, Talbot said.
"We have had a number of the incidents here within the county. Fortunately all of them have been small.
"These buildings have a lot of built-in fire protection systems like sprinklers and smoke removal, and when those things function correctly, this is still a challenging incident because we're evacuating a lot of people and a lot of things are happening.
"But when those things function correctly, they keep the fire small. So fortunately our experience right now has been limited to small incidents, but we train and prepare for the larger one in case there are system malfunctions or other problems."
The training Wednesday was part of a three-day High-Rise Operations Course covering topics related to suppressing a high-rise fire, such as building construction, elevator safety, ventilation, and command
structure, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.