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Wichita Fire Department Builds Shipping Container Training Facility

Shipping Container Training Facility

The Wichita Fire Department has been building their own training facility out of shipping containers. They constructed six containers into a 2,100 square-foot, two-story building with 11 rooms for training.

“Every room in the shipping containers are burnable. So we can set fires in there and try to mimic what our people are seeing out on the street,” battalion chief Kelly Ross said.

The traditional training towers that have been used for training exercises are significantly more expensive to construct and use than the container structure; they can cost around $1 million. Not only was the container more affordable to construct, but the department was also able to build the structure on their own.

This use of shipping containers is not unheard of. It has become a popular use of the containers, because it allows firefighters to get more hands-on experience in the field with a live fire before they have to answer a real call. Containers have been an important part of teaching firefighters more about the behavior of fires, like fire growth, backdraft, rollover, and flashover. They also allow trainees to practice rescue techniques in a live fire, as well as tactics to reduce a fire. The customizable nature of shipping containers is also helpful to fire departments, because it allows a fire department to set up their training facility however they need it to be.

The Wichita Fire Department has already begun to see the value of their new training facility and Chief Ross reported that the training is already going well.

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Author: Auz Burger