Fire department structural trainer to be remodeled

  • Published
  • By Airman Erin McClellan
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The base fire department’s structural trainer is scheduled to be remodeled during the upcoming months.

The three-story structure simulates facilities on base that have multiple levels, such as the dormitories, and is used to prepare firefighters to respond to real-world emergencies in these types of buildings.

An initial survey was conducted and some materials were delivered to the base Nov. 4. Once construction is started, the process, including testing and training, may take up to four months, said William Dodson, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron training division assistant chief.

Depending on training requirements and weather conditions, Airmen perform exercises in the trainer anywhere from one to four times per month. It’s used for a variety of different training objectives to include search and rescue, extinguishing fires on different levels and in confined spaces, high-angle rescue with rappelling ropes and practice using the department’s new ladder truck, said Staff Sgt. Eloy Garcia, 22nd CES fire inspector.

The different floors of the building simulate different types of fires, or fire classes. Class A fires are fed by combustible materials such as wood, paper or fabric. Class B fires are fed by flammable gases; in this case, propane.

Currently, the first floor of the trainer is a Class B room and the second floor is a Class A room. The third floor, which is mainly used for search and rescue training, will be converted into a combination of Class A and B, but will mostly be used as a Class B propane combustion room.

The renovations to the building will allow McConnell firefighters to add more facets to their training, meaning the base community will be better protected.

“Live-fire training is essential to the health and safety of our firefighters and community, both on and off base,” said Dodson. “As with many Air Force installations, we respond to a multitude of emergency requests. Rarely, are the calls an actual fire. When they are, we want our team to react accordingly. The better trained our firefighters are, the better we will be able to serve our customers.”