Manufacturers Roundtable: Firefighter Training Facilities

Firehouse Magazine recently asked a sampling of manufacturers of firefighter training facilities to participate in a roundtable discussion focused on issues such as ways in which their facilities help firefighters meet their training goals, after-the-sale...

Now we can provide features in our training facilities to teach and practice these techniques in a controlled, safe environment. Through proper training we can prepare our firefighters faster and safer methods of accomplishing the tasks.

We routinely provide features used in ventilation, RIT and confined space training. We can provide artificial smoke systems, riser and sprinkler systems, complete systems for high angle rope training; movable interior walls that allow reconfiguration of the floor plan, balconies of all types; cantilevered, inset and supported, small burn areas that can be positioned in attics or corners of the structure without the expense of a full burn room.

We can provide forcible entry training props that allow instruction with everything from Halligan tool training to ram breaching.

Jahnke: WHP's training towers are designed to create the most realistic environments for today's emergency personnel. WHP has a rich history in leadership within the Fire Service. We understand the training requirements, hazards and the need for a design proven to facilitate live fire training under controlled conditions. We are continually refining and designing new features to challenge the trainee and the veteran fire fighter alike. We have introduced a new Reconfigurable Maze System which is usable in any building or location - training buildings, apparatus bays, parking lots, etc. The system includes stairs, "Denver Style Props", windows, collapsing floor props and entanglement props. We have developed a complete interactive Haz-Mat training system which includes sound, high pressure air and water, color, scent, fog and hardware that duplicates working systems. While we offer all of the usual burn rooms, forcible entry props, rappelling systems and search & rescue props, it is equally important to train for less common, but other potentially lethal scenarios like major chemical spills or homeland security threats. We specialize in designing custom props to match the scenarios found in your community.

Firehouse: Long-term care and maintenance are critical when purchasing a facility of this type. What is your company's focus on after-the-sale service to end users?

Egelin: Fireblast team members realize that the value of customer service extends far past the warranty period. We understand that the strength of our future depends on customer satisfaction. Post purchase support begins with the FireCare program. FireCare provides end users with a direct link to our Customer Service Coordinator (CSC) who will assist in all post purchase needs and be the connection to our Technical Support Representatives (TSR). Each TSR is factory trained to provide prompt and efficient support and respond to customer demands. FireCare offers remote access and diagnostics via internet or wireless control which extend far past typical customer service. FireCare provides Fireblast TSR's the ability to upload system functions and download program upgrades.

Hajewski: After the initial sale, Fire Facilities can also provide most inpection services to meet NFPA requirements. The inspections are performed by our own in-house professional engineers. In the event that a building is inadvertently damaged or components reach the end of their useful life, replacement parts are available. We also offer relining of existing burn rooms, and offer field construction services. Our buildings last a long time, so we understand the importance of being able to recreate a component from a 20+ year old project.

Harris & Schaer: TCA has a policy of establishing long term relationships with our clients so there is always open communication about how their fire facility home and business is working. We specialize in fire service architecture so we continue to learn from our clients on how materials hold up to long and short term use. We walk the stations with the clients after one year of occupancy to identify any material maintenance issues and document comments from the actual users of the facility to get valuable feedback on how the station works for them. These lessons are used the next time we design a project so that future client gets the benefit of all the information from all the previous stations. Beyond this one year, we continue to monitor material use and maintenance issues from materials to mechanical systems to insure we have the most current feedback. As a team, we can also walk our clients through other older facilities to see what has worked and not worked for those facilities and what maintenance issues they may be having.