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 service, funding assistance...
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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 service, funding assistance, and new technologies in materials and construction techniques. This is an excerpted version of the roundtable; the complete discussion is available at firehouse.com/0711-training-towers-roundtable.
We thank the manufacturers who joined this discussion and invite other manufacturers to participate in future discussions.
RICK EGELIN, President/CEO, Fireblast 451 Inc., Corona, CA, www.fireblast.com
STEVE HAJEWSKI, Marketing Manager, Fire Facilities Inc., Sun Prairie, WI, www.firefacilities.com
BRIAN HARRIS & ERIC SCHAER, Principals, TCA Architecture & Planning, Seattle, WA, www.tca-inc.com
TOM TEMPERLY, Owner, Training Structures Group LLC (TSG), Rochester, WI, www.design-tsg.com
BILL JAHNKE, President, WHP Trainingtowers, Overland Park, KS, www.trainingtowers.com
Q. More and more demands are being placed on firefighters every day. What features do your facilities have that assist firefighters in meeting their training goals
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 Reconfigurable Maze System, which is usable in any building or location. We have developed a complete interactive hazmat 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.
TEMPERLY: At Training Structures Group (TSG) we’ve seen a growing demand for multiple live-fire burn rooms within a structure. which can provide both flexibility in the training scenarios and an increase in realism of the mission. We have also seen an increase need in the number of facilities for a burn room for class “A” fire and another for class “B”. We can add either class “A” or “B” burn rooms to an existing facility or design them into a new facility to accommodate this need.
Over the years. our firefighters have been called on to respond to an ever increasing array of emergency situations. It’s no longer enough to only train for live fire scenarios. The public’s expectations are that when an emergency situation arises their firefighters will be prepared to handle it safely and expeditiously.
The tragedy of 9/11 has taught us the importance of collapse structure rescue. We learned a lot of very important lessons that day and in the days following. These lessons are being played out in other disasters such as the devastation caused by the tornados and floods that have occurred recently. 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.
HARRIS & SCHAER: Incorporating training into the actual fire station facilities is only limited by one’s imagination, from simple second-floor hatches to complex- multi functional, multi-jurisdictional training structures. The best lesson we have learned over the many years is listening to the firefighters themselves. We work very closely with the users to get the training props so they simulate real-life scenarios wherever possible.