Wichita Fire Department Builds Shipping Container Training Facility
The Wichita Fire Department has been building their own training facility out of shipping containers. They constructed six shipping 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 shipping container structure; they can cost around $1 million. Not only was the shipping container more affordable to build, but the department was also able to make the structure on their own.
This use of shipping containers is not unusual. It has become popular for shipping 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. Shipping containers have been an essential 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 and 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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