This month we celebrated the groundbreaking of our project, the Fire Department Training Simulator. Construction began on the new four-story training tower which is being built at the Springfield Fire Department Training Annex.
The facility, designed to be versatile, has a 44-ft. tower on one end and a two-story residential structure on the other. It also has interior and exterior stairwells along with many other features to facilitate training. The tower will be used to provide forcible entry training, ventilation training, rappelling training, along with many others that will provide firefighters the skills they need to serve the public.
A unique project like this doesn’t come without challenges. The design of the project intentionally falls short of the building code relative to fire safety. “This caused all kinds of problems with the building permit plan reviewers,” BR&P Partner in Charge Tim Rosenbury, AIA says, “We ultimately came to an understanding with them that the Simulator Tower is exactly that – a structure designed to simulate dangerous conditions.”
The impact of the project will go beyond the City of Springfield. The tower will be utilized by various agencies throughout the state and region. The Springfield Fire Department has established training partnerships with Missouri Division of Fire Safety, Ozarks Technical Community College, University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute, Greene County Fire Training Association, as well as many individual regional fire departments and police agencies.
“This new facility in essence will become a regional training asset to introduce more firefighters in the workforce,” said Springfield Fire Department Division Chief of Training Olan Morelan.“It will help ensure our firefighters are fully prepared to protect the citizens of our community in a variety of emergency situations.”
The project, funded through the City of Springfield’s level property tax, is expected to be completed in December.