Containers secured for training

By Gale Rose
St. John News – December 28, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – January 27, 2017

They appear to be ordinary metal storage containers but they will soon become a training facility that could eventually save lives.

Davin Graves, fire director, said the St. John Fire Department has secured three metal storage containers, two that are 40 feet long and 8 feet wide and one that is 20 feet long and 8 feet wide at a cost of roughly $7,000. Department personnel will put the containers together. They will be transformed into an outdoors fire training facility in St. John for firefighters and EMS.

The fire department has seven members but this facility will be available county-wide as a training facility for St. John, Macksville, Stafford, Hudson, Seward and Radium.

This outdoors facility will be used for Firefighter 1 training. With these containers, they will be able to simulate basement fires, forcible entry and live fire scenarios. They will be able to use the city smoke machine to help create realistic training situations including the use of ladders.

“I think this is the first in the county to my knowledge,” Graves said. “Always before, the city department used some old abandon structures that were going to be torn down.”

However, more fire restrictions have been put in place for live fire in structures. Those restrictions plus inspections and regulations have to be met so the metal containers will take their place and provide a regular training area.

“I’m all for training. I’m concerned for the safety of my personnel,” Graves said. “Having these facilities will definitely be a benefit.”

Exactly when the containers will arrive is uncertain but they have been ordered. Graves anticipates they will arrive in January 2017. When they arrive, he wants to get them assembled and put them to work.

The fire department needs these facilities to meet the demands for classes required for national certification.

With these containers, the firefighters can do more in-depth training for those classes.

Having these facilities will increase the safety for responders. This will allow for more effective training that will make the firefighters safer when they are fighting real fires.

Graves has just become fire director. The department has meetings once a month and these containers will allow the firefighters to do more training at those meetings.

The fire department has three full-time personnel with several volunteers in all shapes and sizes and they do construction, are mechanics, welders and have other jobs.

They include fire and EMS.

Discussions are underway with other departments to use the facilities. Nothing has been set in stone and whether anything will come out of the discussions is not certain yet.

The containers were purchased with normal funds from the budget from a local individual that is a container dealer.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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