TFD Gets New Training Ground

A nearly $2 million project is under construction, and it could ultimately help firefighters save homes and lives.

Construction workers are busy cutting and laying cinder block. When this building is done, it'll be set on fire on purpose, again and again and again, to train firefighters to enter burning homes and buildings, perhaps the most dangerous thing they do.

CAPT Wes Roberts with the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "Most structure fires we go to once you make entry, you're down to zero visibility you're essentially seeing all black or all red."

The "burn building" will fill with smoke and fire and firefighters will face temperatures in excess of 500 degrees. They can practice rescues, finding the source of the fire and more, things they have only done on a simulator until now.

Deputy Chief Erick Pena with the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "Ocala is the closest fire college and the cost. It's cost prohibitive to try to send 235 people to Ocala to train, so having this here is a great opportunity for us to train to become better firefighters."

The new training ground also features a five-story building to help firefighters learn to cope with stairs and folks stranded on upper floors, scenarios that could arise as Tallahassee's skyline gets higher.

The new training buildings are near fire station four on the corner of Appleyard and Pensacola Street. They should be ready by August.