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New fire training facility dedicated

Posted: Monday, May 7th, 2012

The ladder company is in the process of a search and rescue to find a victim of the high rise fire. The training tower is used as the high rise. Photo courtesy of Northwest Fire District and Chuck Barth/Marana Weekly News

MARANA — Northwest side fire agencies took time Friday to join Northwest Fire District officials for the opening of their new training facility. The $9 million facility houses buildings for live fire and smoke, classrooms and advanced training. About 200 people attended the ceremony.

In the past, units from the northwest had to travel 45 minutes each way to the Public Safety Academy that is the home training grounds for Tucson Fire and Police. The new center was built with bond money from the 2004 bond election.

“Firefighters get a truly state of the art facility that get firefighters in such a realistic environment that they can get without having a real fire,” explained Captain Adam Goldberg of Northwest Fire. We have a live fire building here but it’s a controlled environment. So firefighters can really experience heat, darkness, smoke, and flames learning fire behavior. What happens when I put a little water on it- called penciling, what happens when we put too much water on it- steam conversion and things like that. It’s still a controlled environment where there are safety lines and exits so that we have that experience and that comfort level in really hazardous conditions.”

There is a residential building that is equipped for fire and smoke. It’s front looks like a modern two story single family home. The interior is like a long hallway in a hotel with doors on each side. Good for search and rescue according to Goldberg. The back of the building is set up like a two story apartment. There are balconies and windows that can also be used for rescue training.

A multi story tower simulates a high-rise fire and rescue situation. Firefighters learn to repel down from four stories.

There are two classroom buildings. The center will also feature a gymnasium where crews can workout during down time. There’s also a library and a computerized training classroom that runs simulations that include radio chatter on headsets getting a company or two all together to plan a way of attacking a fire. The center also has railroad tanker cars and plenty of room for staging auto accidents.

For the complete article see the 05-09-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-09-2012 paper.

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