While silver is the traditional 25-year anniversary gift, the Deer Park Fire Department will happily stay with steel. Since 1997 tens of thousands of firefighters have trained on their all-steel Fire Chief Tower. And, they’re planning for many more to train on the dependable structure in the next 25 years.
“This Fire Facilities tower has physically held up very well over the years, and we’ve put the unit to the test,” says Anthony Macaluso, firefighter and elected board of fire commissioners member in Deer Park, NY. “This unit has not disappointed us to this point and we continue to use it often.
“While we’ve had to replace many heat tiles in the burn room over the years, that’s because we train in there so much. We even added an additional burn room to accommodate the advanced training needs of our firefighters.
“The support and assistance from the Fire Facilities staff has been very helpful over the past 25 years. While this is an aging unit, it’s still extraordinarily dependable, as are the people who manufactured it.”
Training for the Future
When Macaluso started out as a junior firefighter in 1972, training structures were not available in Deer Park. Over the years he worked alongside many fire chiefs and fire commissioners at the Deer Park Fire Department. They were all united in wanting a professional training facility for firefighters. Their goal was to help prepare firefighters — past, present, and future — to handle a wide variety of fire and emergency scenarios.
“During my career I’ve been fortunate to work with exceptional fire chiefs and fire commissioners,” says Macaluso. “They’ve all supported the need for professional training. Throughout the past 25 years The Fire Chief Tower has allowed us to provide top-level training to our firefighters. Nothing beats that when preparing to handle our day-to-day real life calls.”
Made in America/Made to Last
The Fire Chief Tower in Deer Park is made of American steel. The structure stands 40-feet tall and is 60-feet in length. The residential-like design in the tower offers a burn room on the first floor, interior stairs to the multiple floors, an interior fixed ladder, roof-mounted chop-out curbs, and parapet roof guard with chain opening. The Fire Chief allows for multiple training exercises including hose advancement, fire attack, search and rescue, rappelling, laddering, confined space, and high-angle rescue operations.
“Our Fire Facilities tower has lived up to our goals,” says Macaluso. “Over the years we’ve practiced on the structure with many departments. We drilled with live fire situations, bailout training, and additional firefighting/EMS drills.
“Every department trains to their own SOP and SOG, but to have a dependable unit to train with at your fingertips is great. No matter the time of day, this facility is available to our department for training. That allows us to create any situation we want … and train as much as we want!”