For the first time, the Georgetown Fire Department has its own training facility in its backyard.
Located on Airport road, the newly dedicated training facility provides space for a 56-man department to train under realistic conditions and grow as a department.
“(The training facility is intended) to give the guys the opportunity to train in realistic conditions,” said interim Georgetown Fire Chief Eric Colson. “While we had smoke today, we will get to the point where we can have live fire inside the containers and give them a feel for that environment as well.”
Before the new facility, the fire department had to train in makeshift conditions.
“We’ve traditionally just trained inside the building; or we set pallets up, make a hallway in a corner, in a room, in the parking lot,” he said. “(We) used to train inside the bay or inside the station and so, this is our first true facility dedicated just for training.”
The new space makes training easier for the firefighters.
“You don’t get this type of training in the station or out in a parking lot,” Colson said. “So, you have to have a facility where you can advance, beat, bang, carry on, flow water and this gives us the ability to do that.”
As a department, they will be able to work on forcible entry, working with ladders, water flow, search techniques, fire patterns and more with a space meant for learning the job.
“We will have a roof prop, so we will be able to ladder the roof, get on it (and) cut holes in that to simulate ventilation,” Colson said.
“The plan is to put a railing on the second story in the future and we can use that for ropes. We can repel off the back side, stuff like that.”
Growth is also on the mind of the Georgetown Fire Department.
“It just gives us the ability to grow in the future,” he said. “We can add additional containers. (This space provides) a lot of room to grow for us.”
James Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.