From Mardi Gras parades to French Quarter hotel fires to severe weather outbreaks, firefighters in Jefferson Parish, LA need to prepare for handling a wide variety of potential scenarios. That’s why they enhanced their fire training center in 2018. Already using The Commissioner for training, they added a seven-story all-steel tactical tower for superior situational preparations.
“The Commissioner has held up great during the past 11 years of constant usage,” says Scott Berthelot, administrator of the Jefferson Parish Fire Training Center. “We have about 500 people train on this structure every year, so it gets a work out.
“This is a durable training tower. Despite continuous use by 14 different fire departments, it’s held up very well with little or no maintenance. Best of all, it adapts easily to various training exercises.”
The Commissioner is the largest all-encompassing standard Fire Facilities training structure model available. The tower spans 73-feet long and stands 40-feet high. The Commissioner offers three sections, a four-story fire training tower, a two-story residential section, and a one-story burn room annex. The residential section features interior and exterior stairs, two roof chop-out curbs, hallways, a burn room, and a burn area in the attic. The tower section includes interior decks and stairs, ship’s ladder, parapet roof guard with chained opening, and a roof chop-out curb. For the ultimate in fire training, the structure also features a cantilevered balcony, inset balcony, and fire escape.
Adding a Custom Tower
During the first several years of having The Commissioner in place, the Jefferson Parish team was extremely satisfied with its capacities. “By far, our team members all think that the best aspect of The Commissioner is the multiple burn rooms,” says Berthelot, who has been with the training team for 20 years.
To enhance the ongoing training for all the Jefferson Parish Fire Departments and local industry personnel, the decision was made to add another training tower in 2018. The 70-foot tall Custom Tower is ideal for rappelling and simulating tall structure rescues.
“Adding the second Fire Facilities structure to our Fire Training Center grounds was a smart decision,” says Berthelot. “Now we can really change up the training programs.
“The Commissioner and The Custom Tower have provided us with more variable training with confined space training, along with multi-faceted dynamics at one time. We’re extremely satisfied with Fire Facilities. There has never been a problem with the towers, and the company is very responsive to any concerns we may have.”