NEW CHICAGO FIRE TRAINING AND ADMINISTRATION CENTER
—All photos Official Chicago F. D.
CHICAGO officially dedicated its new $2-million fire training and administration center on May 15, 1961, before many of the United States’ and Canada’s leading fire chiefs.
Composed of three buildings, it covers a complete city block, including a five-story drill tower, a threestory administration building and a large fire station housing an engine company and a snorkel unit. It was just 90 years ago, on the same site, as the story has it, that a cow kicked over a lantern in the barn of the O’Leary residence and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 began.
The drill tower, flaming red in color, is 100 feet long and 62 feet wide, and is built to permit inside drills with any piece of fire equipment. The east wall is fitted with various sizes and shapes of windows so candidates may train on all types of window conditions.
Also included are a sprinkler room, a smoke room and a gas chamber. The tower is equipped with hydrants, straight fire escapes, cisterns and standpipes. All facilities of the drill tower are duplicated, with those on the inside for use during inclement weather, and one on the outside for drilling in good weather.
The administration building is a modem office building with complete room-to-room communications. Completely air-conditioned, it is made up almost entirely of glass exterior walls with marble in the main lobby. An elevator runs between the administration building and the drill tower direct to a heliport on the roof of the tower. The first floor features a cafeteria, library, recreation area, patio and an information desk. The second floor is made up primarily of classrooms. All have portable walls which permit arrangement into a number of small classrooms, or several larger rooms. Included on the second floor are the offices of the drillmaster and his assistants.
The top floor includes Commissioner Robert J. Quinn’s office, the offices of Chief Fire Marshal Raymond J. Daley, First Deputy Fire Marshal Frank A. Thielmarm and the seven deputy fire marshals. Also included are offices of the fire prevention bureau and the bureau of fire investigations. Living quarters for visiting fire officials are provided on this floor.