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Plum firefighters conduct training in empty Adlai Stevenson Elementary

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader
Firefighters from Plum's Volunteer Fire Departments joined forces in a special training exercise last week at the soon-to-be-demolished Adlai Stevenson Elementary. Breaching walls was one of the training exercises for these volunteers with the Holiday Park VFD.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum
Fire fighters from Plum's Volunteer Fire Departments joined forces in a special training exercise last week at the soon to be demolished Adlai Stevenson Elementary. Volunteers from Holiday Park and Renton companies advance hose lines in a smoke filled room. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum
Fire fighters from Plum's Volunteer Fire Departments joined forces in a special training exercise last week at the soon to be demolished Adlai Stevenson Elementary. Volunteer firefighters from Logan's Ferry and Unity practice using the Port-A-Power tool to open doors. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Plum Advance Leader

Adlai Stevenson Elementary School a few weeks ago was filled with students finishing classes for the year.

The scene last week was quite different.

Volunteers from the four borough fire departments in full gear spent several hours conducting a training exercise in the building.

Demolition of Adlai Stevenson Elementary is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 30 to make way for the construction of the new Holiday Park Elementary School, said Dennis Russo who managed the construction of the new Pivik Elementary School and is the district's representative.

Chief Larry Glass of the Holiday Park Volunteer Department said 54 volunteers from the Holiday Park, Logans Ferry Heights, Renton and Unity fire companies went to work for about five hours June 18 to conduct a variety of drills including search and rescue in a smoke-filled environment, hose-line advancement, forcible entry of doors, breaching walls from room to room to simulate a firefighter who is down and roof ventilation.

Glass said such a training opportunity seldom occurs.

“It's not often we have the opportunity to train in a commercial-style building within Plum Borough,” Glass said.

Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said he was pleased the district could work with the volunteer fire companies.

“I am glad we could accommodate the volunteer fire departments with their training exercise,” Glasspool said. “We were under a tight timeline with the move (to the former Pivik Elementary building), the auction (of items from Adlai Stevenson), the (asbestos) abatement and demolition.”

Russo said the abatement began the day after the training exercise that he helped arrange.

“There was coordination (for the drill) between myself, the school district, Plum EMS and the fire departments,” Russo said. “It was a great event for the fire departments to do (the training).”

Glass said no one was injured in the training.

Russo said construction of the new building is set to begin Sept. 9 and be completed by December 2014. Adlai Stevenson students are set to attend classes in the former Pivik school until the new building is complete.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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