Looking for expert firefighter training? Then head to the Pro Board accredited Great Oaks Fire Academy in Ohio. That’s where you’ll find 53 courses for both new and experienced firefighters. It’s also where you’ll find two new key training structures: The Captain, a four-story steel tower and burn room, and The Hall Crawler, a two-story live fire training building with burn rooms.
Made by Fire Facilities, Inc., the two structures will soon have about 500 people training on them yearly. And, each student will spend about 300 of their 675 hours in the academy training on the structures.
To finalize preparations for using the new facilities, in May of 2021 more than 300 burn evolutions were conducted to train the instructors on the building. Located on the Scarlet Campus of Great Oaks Career Campus in Sharonville, Ohio, the academy leaders are ready to prepare high school and adult cadets for certification as firefighters and EMTs.
“These two structures are flexible to meet all our training needs,” says Johnny Mason OFE, CTO, fire safety services supervisor at Great Oaks Fire Academy. “Together the two buildings support our entire academic teaching experience. This includes what we do beyond live fire training, so the structures are extremely adaptable.”
Planning for the Future
Long-term planning allowed the academy to invest in the Fire Facilities structures. Starting in 2015, Mason and others began working to add the two buildings to their campus. After visiting Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and touring the training structures there, they set their sights on gaining the $1.3 million funds needed for the investment.
“We especially appreciated the time and effort our contact at Fire Facilities put into working with us,” says Mason, a firefighter with 30 years experience. “From the time we first sketched ideas on the back of a flyer with David Tusio, up to when we made the decision to purchase the structures, we were never over-promised or allowed to get into unrealistic expectations.
“We seriously considered the longevity needed for this type of major financial investment. When a company like Fire Facilities can show you a building that has been in service for 20 years, and it looks and acts like it did in year one, that’s making a positive statement.
“Frankly, we plan to work these Fire Facilities structures very hard in the future and we’re confident they can handle that type of constant use. There’s already a waiting list of people from local fire departments and emergency services teams who would like to train on the buildings.”