Fire houses across the country are preparing to handle a different kind of flame in 2023. Celebration candles. 20 different fire departments are celebrating the 20th year of having their Fire Facilities training towers in 2023.
Since 1989 Fire Facilities has manufactured all-steel training structures for fire stations and training programs. The first tower was placed in Traverse City, Michigan, more than 30 years ago. Now, in 2023, fire stations from Alaska to North Carolina are celebrating two decades of hard work and service with their Fire Facilities training towers.
“The Lieutenant is very durable and has withstood our abuse in training for the past 20 years,” says Fire Chief Greg Ray, with the Ashland Fire Department in Ashland, Kentucky. “The tower has been very beneficial to our overall training. We’ve incorporated it into a multitude of training scenarios. The structure has held up pretty good over the years and we haven’t had any major repairs we need to address.”
The Lieutenant is a 34-foot tall training building with a burn room annex. Atop the four-story fire training building is a parapet roof guard with a chain opening for easy rappelling and roof exercises. Other locations with The Lieutenant training facilities marking their 20th anniversary in 2023 include North River Fire District in Palmetto, Florida; Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Jacksonville Fire Department in North Carolina; Wellsville Fire Department in New York; Jasper Fire Department in Indiana; Maysville Public Works in Kentucky; and, Palominas Fire Department in Hereford, Arizona. U. S. Air Force bases obtaining The Lieutenant in 2003 for training include McChord Air Force Base in Washington; Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota; Creech Air Force Base Fire Department in Indian Springs, Nevada; Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland; and, Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
Celebrating in Connecticut
For the historic town of Glastonbury, Connecticut, this is a double anniversary year. The town was incorporated in 1693, so this is its 330-year anniversary. It’s also the 20th anniversary of the town’s Assistant Fire Chief training tower. This four-story structure includes a burn room annex, residential section and fire training tower.
“We use the building about 25 times a year,” says Fire Chief Michael Thurz with the Glastonbury Fire Department. “It’s an important aspect of our overall training program because we are limited in doing the required training on your typical commercial or residential building.
“In addition to live fire, we use the building for laddering, search and rescue, and standpipe evolutions. This structure allows my department to stay in town for annual live burns. Overall I’ve been satisfied with the tower.
“If someone is looking to get a Fire Facilities structure, my advice is to design a building that reflects their community. And, once you have the building, make sure to keep up with the required preventative maintenance items.”
The purchase of a training tower is a significant investment for a community, fire department or training center. Assuring the long-term return-on-investment is a critical aspect when determining which product to select for the training needs of firefighters.
“We’re highlighting the decades of hard service of our structures because we’re proud they stand up to the rigorous demands of training month-after-month, year-after-year,” says Aaron Adams, president of Fire Facilities, Inc. “Our team custom creates each tower using all-American steel to the specific needs of a firehouse. The outcome is a training structure that withstands the burden of hundreds of firefighters constantly drilling to improve their skills.”
Rounding out the 20 facilities celebrating their 20th anniversaries in 2023 are:
Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska – The Deputy Chief
Red Lodge Fire Department in Montana – The Mobile Trainee
Town of Lake Arthur Fire Department in New Mexico – The Volunteer
Cayuga County Training Center in Auburn, New York – The Fire Chief
Alhambra Fire Department in California – The Captain
La Crosse Fire Department in Wisconsin – The Battalion Chief