1. #1
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    Default Has anyone built a training structure using shipping containers?

    Hey Guys,

    We want make a training facility out of shipping containers and would like to to have a few forcible entry doors, a roof cutting prop, and movable walls/obstacles so we can configure it differently.

    Has anyone done/seen anything similar to this? What other features do you like? If you have done it, what, approximately, did it cost you? How much did it cost? Do you have any tips?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by outofstep; 02-27-2006 at 02:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by outofstep
    Hey Guys,

    My vollie house has three 20' x 8' shipping containers laying around that they're looking at selling, but there are a few of us who want to make them into a training structure of some kind.

    I'm leaning towards connecting all three side by side and making them into an apartment type layout. We want to have a few forcible entry doors, a roof cutting prop, and movable walls/obstacles so we can configure it differently.

    Has anyone done/seen anything similar to this? What other features do you like? If you have done it, what, approximately, did it cost you? How much did it cost? Do you have any tips?

    Thanks.
    This is just me, but I would place two side x side, and the third on top of those as a second story, a fourth could be added in the future. Properly done it could make a fantastic training building. I think your best tools for construction are going to be a MIG welder and a plasma cutter. With the proper insulation/ventilation, you could even do live burns. A roof simulator could go on top of the stacked container, as well as rappelling gear to teach self rescue. As long as everything is structurally sound, and reinforced correctly you should have no issue in doing just about anything you want with them. This is a great opportunity. You may have to build it up in stages, but it will allow you to practice many things. Another plus is that, if you drill repeatedly in how you get off the apparatus, and setting everything up for your attack, it will become automatic, just plug in the variables to your working incident and go. Take advatage of it, it will prove useful.
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    We have an intermodal box that we built an SCBA maze inside of. The maze has 3 levels and is horseshoe shaped...this leaves an aisle down the middle for an instructor or observor. We used fencing hardware and 2X4's to create the posts and main beams for each level. We then added wires, low profile obstacles, stud walls, 2 stair cases, and other challenges in there. I'm not sure what the total lumber price was, but I could probably find out. We did all the work ourselves.

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    We use four containers at our live fire training facility. Two large ones as the base with two smaller ones stacked on top. We cut windows and doorsways in both, there is both internal and external stairways. We intend to add more containers in the future. While not as nice as concrete burn building, they as a cheap alternative until we can afford to build a concrete burn building.
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    This is a local training facility that I toured while gathering information for a presentation I was doing. It was an awesome set-up and the TO was very helpful in answering my questions.

    http://www.otterpointfire.bc.ca/oper...facility.shtml
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    Just out of curiosity, how safe would it be doing live burns in one of these things. Especially with another one sitting on top. What's the risk of the metal weaking due to the heat (especially repeated use) and then the whole thing coming down on the guys inside?

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    Default containers

    The Florida State Fire College have a live burn unit made from containers. They have studied several plans and incorporated some of each. It looks good to me. Give them a call or mail them, they will be happy to help you with plans.
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    I'd have to look at my notes again (and I'm not too sure where they are) but there is only one container that Otter Point uses for live burn training and it is lined with a heat resistant lining (the name of it escapes me which is why I need my notes). They have it set up for smoke simulators which according to their site they are in the process of setting up. This is how the other areas will be utilized, among other drills.
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    It all depends on what your objectives are. With 3 x 20' containers you could build yourself a nice system for teaching fire behavior whilst practising nozzle and firefighting techniques. You could train in flashover control; backdraft recognition; compartment door entry procedures; crew attack procedures; venting effects on fire behavior; etc or ....

    You could just build a unit/system with a crib and learn next to nothing!

    HERE ARE SOME TRAINING IDEAS

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakking
    We have an intermodal box that we built an SCBA maze inside of. The maze has 3 levels and is horseshoe shaped...this leaves an aisle down the middle for an instructor or observor. We used fencing hardware and 2X4's to create the posts and main beams for each level. We then added wires, low profile obstacles, stud walls, 2 stair cases, and other challenges in there. I'm not sure what the total lumber price was, but I could probably find out. We did all the work ourselves.
    You got any pictures or design sketches? We just got approved to build a training facility(no live fire... YET) on a piece of township property and I have a couple of these boxes to work with. I have a rough idea of how we are going to setup a mask confidence course in one of them, but I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel and also see if there is anything I am missing or way that could be better then the drawing in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFTrainer
    You got any pictures or design sketches? We just got approved to build a training facility(no live fire... YET) on a piece of township property and I have a couple of these boxes to work with. I have a rough idea of how we are going to setup a mask confidence course in one of them, but I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel and also see if there is anything I am missing or way that could be better then the drawing in my head.
    I haven't taken any pictures of it, but it wouldn't be a problem to do so...give me a day or two and I'll see what I can come up with. I'll either post them here or I'll get your email and send them.

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    Hey Guys, thanks for all the responses so far.

    Since we're a somewhat busy truck company in an urban area, things like forcible entry, VES, laddering, ventilation and FAST team evolutions are our main concerns. This is especially true considering that the county academy has a flashover/backdraft simulator with all the burn buildings you could want and the neighboring town has give us use of their mobile burn trailer. We have already setup a mask confidence course in our basement, so that's out too. We also don't think the neighbors would go for a live burn center in the neighborhood.

    We have a big space heater and a good smoke smoke machine that we thought would give the feel of 0 visibility and heat. I feel like there is a reason this is a bad idea, but can't think of any real reason - anyone got one for me?

    With that said, are there any other props/obstacles you have seen that are tailored toward truck work. We have two steel doors that we are going to reinforce and use as forcible entry doors, a flat roof simulator for cuts and right now, that's about it. Can anyone think of other truck oriented obstacles/props that would be useful?

    Thanks again.

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    Here are some pics of our SCBA maze.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

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    ...and a few more.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    ...and still a few more. Hope this helps FFtrainer. Holler if you need measurements or anything.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    You might try contacting the Southern Platte Fire District in Kansas City, Mo. My brother and I attended a fire academy that they held, a year and a half ago. The SPFD academy was a awesome experience. During our academy some of the firefighters from that department were in the process of building a SCBA confined spaces maze. It probably took them 4 weeks to build it, it was pretty detailed. I'm pretty sure it was in some type of shipping container, and the maze was consructed out of plywood and 2x's. It was 2 levels, and super tight. Some of the passages mimicked crawling or slithering across bare floor joists, real knee or shin busters. Also they had corrugated metal tubes, inclines, trap doors, and floors that tilted side to side. Alot of the passages were tight enough that you had to get on your side and wiggle trough. Luckily, they completed maze in the middle of our academy, and included it into our training. If you were really hauling you could get through it in 26 sec., but average times were 28 to 30 sec. I don't have their phone number handy right now, but I know they have a website. Have a good Holiday, Chad Johnson
    Last edited by mx920cj; 12-22-2005 at 08:38 PM.

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    check out FDTN .....this is what jim crawford, one of the premier RIT guru's has been using.....amazing what you can do with them......also a loop hole in some municapalities when it come to building permits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakking
    ...and a few more.
    What's the aircap on the hose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1
    What's the aircap on the hose?
    We fill the hose with air when running evolutions through there. It makes the hose feel like it has water in it without having to worry about actually charging the line and having water leaks onto the plywood and lumber.

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    INteresting! Never heard of such a thing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakking
    We fill the hose with air when running evolutions through there. It makes the hose feel like it has water in it without having to worry about actually charging the line and having water leaks onto the plywood and lumber.
    do you use a general air compressor to "charge" the line or do you have something a bit more specific?

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    Quote Originally Posted by needlejockey
    do you use a general air compressor to "charge" the line or do you have something a bit more specific?
    Most air compressor's should be able to do it...so long as you don't have a leak in the hose or coupling.

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    Default Training Structure

    Has any dept. recieved grant money to build these training structures using shipping containers?
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    The FD here did that, We took three storage containers and stacked them upon each other did some addtional work


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