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With new firefighters coming in and no chain saw knowledge what can we do? The PVC chalk saw was good in the beginning but really only gives you 1 point of training. There is a new training tool called Vent Marker. With needing to give more in training this tool allows the recruit to fill the weight, how they will balance, and ergonomics, all while using the same saw that is on the truck or engine. Check out the web site it is still work in progress but you'll get the picture. www.Ventmarker.com What other training for ventilation practice is out there?

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I would like to put it to the test. The concept is great to START with. It should renforce overlaping cuts and poper order, than move to the real thing.
I completely agree that hands on skills are lacking with new recruits. I believe there is no replacement for muscle memory training at this level. If there is no access to a simple roof simulator prop, find a sorce of old pallets and start cutting. Many cities and towns also have a lumber yard where scrap plywood can be found and used for this same purpose. I like the chaulk idea for the therory behind each cut and it will provide many opertunities to "preplan" a vent cut without damaging the roof. Remember each run is a training opertunity. I like the chaulk idea, Thank you, Rich
This is the first I have heard of the chalk training. Ithink its a great idea to get the mechanics down before you begin live cutting, especially at the recruit level.

Like others have said, it may nto be the best BUT its better than nothing.
I like the chalk idea. It makes you go through all the same steps a lot safer. I get plywood and pallets and nail them together to make roof props. The local lumber yard (Home Depot, Lowes, and Strobers) donate worped and damaged plywood and pallets so it doesn't cost anything and gives the crew some good practice.

I also made a door prop. out of an old metal door.

and got some block donated so they could cut through concrete

I agree with all the comments. This is a good training device EARLY in a recruit's training, but it should not be the only training they get. It's true that a lot of newer recruits don't have as much tool experience, but that doesn't make them bad recruits; it just means you need to spend more hands on time with the tools. The up side of this is that you don't have to correct bad habits when you teach them! They need to slowly move toward proficiency with these tools that are unforgiving. Even the sound of the saw can be disorienting to some one not used to it.

One training method that I've seen and used is nailing plywood to wooden pallets and cutting that. Yeah, it's not the same as a real roof, but it's a safe, easy way to get some saw time. I've even seen pitched roof props that use the same idea. Of course, donated buildings are great for all kinds of training as long as they are safe (i.e. NFPA 1403 compliant). Good Luck!
Chris
The pallet and plywood is what I have pictured above. It seems to work well and is on a safe solid surface.
This is a silly training "tool". Saw familiarization, and real cuts at different roof pitches is what works best. Why use chalk? It doesn't help you figure out depth of cut or how to limit binding or rolling over a joist. You are not saving on props either. If a prop is used strictly for Chalking maybe you should be using a blackboard instead.
I like the real thing to and conduct a lot of training in vacants, I do like the chalk for the opening of class then move to the real thing. Like Rich said every call is a training opertunity. After you sure that still alarm is just a alarm have the new guy climb the stick and out line his cuts. At the end wash it away with the can. A quick drill with no damage.
As already stated, there is nothing like the real thing for training in order to supplant experience. Using acquired buildings has always been a standard practice in the fire service.
The other option represents an investment by the fire department toward training; build a prop.
In Albuquerque we operate our own fire training academy. On the grounds we have erected several roof ventilation props. One is a steel structure that represents a pitched roof in which wood decking material is placed on it, can be cut in any manner and is immediately replaceable. The other prop is similar but is a flat roof prop.
Yes these are expensive and a commitment but they are there for us long term and used by both new recruits and field personnel for refresher training.
A big commitment, yes... worth it? Absolutely.
Hands-on....game's on....
Agreed, you can't beat the real thing. However, buildings aren't always available so we built a roof simulator with the ability to change the pitch to a 12/12. The size of the work platform is about 20' by 16' and we have two framed out areas so we can drop-in pre-made panels of sheating with roofing felt and shingles. This way we reduce the down time to replace the roofing materials. A few drywall screws hold in the panels and after the cuts are made, pull the screws and drop in a new panel. The prop is large enough that we can also train on cutting from the bucket (tower ladder bucket). This had turned out to be an excellent training prop.
Can you send me detailed pics of your prop, i would love to make one for training, ty. bgcontree@yahoo.com

Art Zern said:
Agreed, you can't beat the real thing. However, buildings aren't always available so we built a roof simulator with the ability to change the pitch to a 12/12. The size of the work platform is about 20' by 16' and we have two framed out areas so we can drop-in pre-made panels of sheating with roofing felt and shingles. This way we reduce the down time to replace the roofing materials. A few drywall screws hold in the panels and after the cuts are made, pull the screws and drop in a new panel. The prop is large enough that we can also train on cutting from the bucket (tower ladder bucket). This had turned out to be an excellent training prop.

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