The motto “One City One Mission” is more than just a slogan for firefighters in The City of Crestview, Florida. It’s their mantra for improving the quality of life for residents by providing exceptional municipal services. And now, with their new Assistant Fire Chief tower, they’re able to achieve this motto by rededicating their efforts to life-saving training exercises.
Fire Facilities Wins the Search
The search for The City of Crestview’s training tower began several years ago. Leaders at the fire department explored several options, from assembling CONEX boxes to getting quotes from companies specializing in fire training structures.
“We looked at several companies and got in some competitive quotes,” says Captain Matthew Cunningham with the The City of Crestview Fire Department. “Fire Facilities models demonstrated the most realistic training capabilities and options we were searching for in a training tower. We’re extremely pleased with the Assistant Fire Chief model we selected.
“This structure allows us to have two burn rooms. There’s a larger one located on the first floor and a small one on the second floor. It also gives us the ability to conduct rope rescue training. The tower section is 40-feet high with anchors attached, permitting us to simulate high-angle rope rescues.
“We also enjoy the standpipe addition. We’ve already simulated multiple fire attacks from the second and third floors, a training capability we’ve never had before. Our firefighters really appreciate the different aspects of training. Every crew currently holds drills at the tower once to twice a week.”
To fund the purchase of the Assistant Fire Chief, a half-cent sales tax was passed several years ago for area residents. That helped raise $900,000. A grant from the state of Florida provided a little over $600,000 additional funds for the tower.
“The City of Crestview Fire Department has 45 firefighters and four administrative positions,” says Chance Leavins, public information manager for the City of Crestview, Florida. “Investing in this top quality training tower is important to supporting our firefighters. Our community benefits greatly by our firefighters being better trained and prepared to handle different emergency situation scenarios.
“In addition, the Assistant Fire Chief tower serves as training grounds for all fire departments in Okaloosa County’s North End. This includes North Okaloosa, Dorcas, Laurel Hill, Blackman and Holt Fire Departments. Our local law enforcement agencies also have the ability to use the tower for training. We plan to maximize the tower to assure its capabilities help train as many county employees as possible.”