Four New Training Centers To Teach Latest Techniques
- El Monte, California
- Dayton, Ohio
- Topeka, Kansas
- Torrance, California
EL MONTE, CALIFORNIA
LIVE-FIRE TRAINING at the newly opened Training Center, El Monte, Calif., received priority attention when the building was on the planning boards.
Chief Chalmer Wire reports the entire structure is made of reinforced concrete. Details of interior arrangement incorporate most features found in commercial buildings and in addition, special cement which can withstand temperatures of several thousand degrees covers the interior walls of the live-fire rooms.
Irregular in shape and height, the center stands in the middle of a large open plot. It is divided into two sections, one of which is used for livefire training exclusively. This section is two stories high, irregular, with two first-floor rooms and sloped attic.
The other and much larger section is three stories high, with a fourth half-story at the rear which encloses a stairway and a hose tower capable of holding 2,000 feet of hose. A basement covers the entire area of the building with access provided by both interior and exterior stairs.
Fire protection devices include a dry standpipe extending from first floor to roof, and a sprinkler system with valves which control all heads separately. The building was constructed by Loren B. Smith at a cost of approximately $70,000.
CONSTRUCTION of a new and highly advanced fire training center for Dayton, Ohio, is now under way. According to Chief Louis F. Rozsa, the center will incorporate nearly all the desired features of a modern plant. To represent typical conditions of a city, it will be laid out with streets and buildings for various functions.
The building of greatest interest to fire fighters and the first to be constructed will be the physical environmental structure which will contain most of the newly developed concepts.
Architects Igleburger and Henderson, Associates, of Dayton, have included examples of all major-type buildings, designs and occupancies in a concrete high-intensity fire building. It rises from an 18-foot sidewalk through a variety of levels, floor plans, and roof structures to the top of a six-story stairwell. The structure has been so designed that movable interior partitions can be arranged to simulate nearly all fire problems.
All or any part of this building may be filled with smoke and heat up to 1,000°F in an infinite number ol combinations. These atmospheres will be created by actual burning of any kind of combustible materials or be more precisely controlled by the use of smoke-producing equipment and a million Btu heating unit.
Realizing the potential hazard to personnel which these factors will produce, thermocouples will be located in strategic places to record the existing temperature. Other devices to analyze and record the chemical content of the gases, and provisions for quickly evacuating personnel and dumping heat and smoke from the entire building have been planned as safety precautions.
Replaceable panels in roofs and floors, wet and dry sprinklers, suspended and replaceable ceilings for hidden fires, vertical and horizontal openings, and an above-ground simulated basement all add to the versatility and realism necessary for modern fire training.
The $150,000 facility, erected by A. P. Ziegler Company, will be followed by scheduled construction of classrooms, offices, repair facilities, storeroom, and hydrant and building maintenance quarters.
A CITY BLOCK leveled as part of Topeka’s urban renewal program provided the ground on which the fire department constructed a modern training center, complete with tower and administration building. Covering 350 by 450 feet and enclosed by a 7-foot chain-link fence, the plot is large enough—with facilities—“to enable us to completely train fire fighters within its confines, including driver training,” according to Chief Clifford F. Palmer.
Feature of the center is a five-story concrete tower which with an attached apparatus bay is centered on a 420-by-220-foot concrete slab. Its basement and first floor are completely sprinklered and all floors are serviced by a 4-inch standpipe with 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2-inch outlets on all landings and roof. Outside Siamese supply the systems. Doors can be manipulated to isolate the first floor and basement for use in live drills. Incorporated within the tower unit is a 25,000-gallon test pit used for drilling with pumpers.
The one-story and basement academy building across from the tower measures 84 by 101 feet and has an overhead door on its east side, permitting apparatus to be brought indoors for drill and instruction. In addition to the usual offices, kitchen, showers, etc., academy has a 500-seat-capacity auditorium that can be divided into as many as six separate classrooms by the use of sliding doors. It is protected throughout by a wet sprinkler, complete with automatic alarm equipment.
Rounding out the training facilities are two outdoor graveled areas. One has an overhead fuel tank for simulating tank and spill fires; the other has a reinforced concrete slab and shield for metal and LP gas fires.
TORRANCE, CALIF., has its new training center in operation. A fivestory structure, it is set in a paved site and fenced off. Also included within the area is a test pit which permits drafting practice and pumper testing.
As it presently stands the installation cost $67,887. Future expansion plans call for a training classroom and maintenance shop building and a smoke room attached to one wall of the recently completed tower.
Fire department growth dictated the necessity for expanded training facilities. In 1950 Torrance had a department consisting of two stations, five pieces of apparatus and 17 men. Today, the community has four stations, 12 fire department vehicles and 119 men.
—Torrance F. D. photo