Serving together for 16 years at the Carver, Mass. Fire Department, Fire Chief Weston and Deputy Fire Chief Germaine have one united theme they follow: Prepare. Respond. Survive.TM That’s the same message adhered to by Fire Facilities, Inc., manufacturers of The Deputy Chief training structure that’s been in Carver since 2015, helping firefighters successfully train for all types of situations.
“Our Deputy Chief fire training facility has raised our fire department’s training program to a level not even imagined,” says Craig Weston, a 34-year veteran of the Carver Fire Department in southeastern Mass. “We previously had a homemade training facility that consisted of a group of structures owned by the town. Because we’ve trained in that type of situation, we truly know the value of what a modern, state-of-the-art facility can bring to our department.”
Customized for Training Needs
The Deputy Chief is a three-story all-steel fire training tower with four working deck levels. The structure resembles a residential building, but includes a 30-foot tower for rappelling and laddering training. For live fire training, there are burn rooms on both the first and second floors.
“We worked closely with Fire Facilities to custom design a model that works for our department … and that design has paid off!” says Weston. “The Deputy Chief allows our firefighters to practice a skill/technique numerous times before ever performing that rescue/technique at an actual incident. That training is priceless. It helps our newer, and even our seasoned firefighters, to develop needed skills in a far shorter period of time.”
According to both Weston and Germaine, The Deputy Chief is used multiple times every week. More than 400 firefighters train in the structure yearly, oftentimes experiencing different training scenarios. Other local firefighters are also permitted to use certain aspects of the facility on a regular basis.
“Our firefighters train repeatedly in all aspects of structural fire responses including live fire scenarios, search and rescue, ladders, chimney fires, vertical ventilation and so much more,” says Eric Germaine, a 30-year veteran of the Carver Fire Department. “The Deputy Chief is customizable to many different experiences. We’re very proud of our staff and their advanced level of professionalism, training and readiness, due in large part to the addition of our Fire Facilities training tower.”
Nothing Beats Fire Burn Training
What stands out the most to these veteran fire department leaders in Carver? The technology incorporated into The Deputy Chief that allows them to maximize their town’s investment year-after-year.
“The modernization in technology and addition of fire burn capabilities has enhanced our training and preparedness to a level that is continually rising,” says Germaine. “The training possibilities with The Deputy Chief are endless and only limited by your imagination. We cannot put a price on the value of the positive impact this facility has brought to our training program.”
As examples of the department’s creativity, leaders have made several changes to The Deputy Chief over the last six years. A fully-functional fire alarm system (complete with FA control panel, pull stations and detection devices) was added to allow firefighters to train on alarm responses. Movable walls were added to the first floor open space to facilitate search-and-rescue challenges. They even constructed a “maze” prop in the first floor annex. The maze is used for team building, airpack familiarization and confidence building when operating in tight spaces.
“The Deputy Chief is by far the best investment you can make in the interest of training, preparedness and safety for your firefighters and organization,” says Germaine. “You simply can’t put a price tag on the endless training opportunities that come with a Fire Facilities training building.”