GAULEY BRIDGE, WV (WOAY) – “This is the newest Fayette County firefighters training center, I just went inside a burn box, and the temperatures in there can get up to a thousand-something degrees,” Newswatch Reporter Katherine Skeldon says. “It was very intense!”
A project underway by the Fayette County Firefighter’s Association, the new training center has been in the works for over 20 years.
The first phase of equipment is now open to West Virginia and out-of-state firefighters alike to use for any necessary training they may have to do.
The three burn buildings are being used for various kinds of fire simulations. One burn box, in particular, is for flashover training, a type of fire that can ignite every square inch of space.
“In firefighting, the last thing we want our people to do is to get caught in a flashover, so we can create a flashover in this off-set container and let them see the signs, the layering of smoke, and what signs to look for,” says President of the Fayette County Firefighter’s Association, Mark Bass.
The units were designed to meet all of the criteria for the Firefighter One certifications.
Not only are they set up for fire simulations but ladder work, forced-entry, and search and rescue situations. They help to prepare the firefighters for every kind of housefire scenario they might run into while on the job.
Vice President of the training association, John McGinnis says it’s an important project for every firefighter involved.
“It’s not just beneficial for Fayette County, but we’re now reaching out to just about everybody in the southern parts of West Virginia, whether it’s industrial or regular firefighters coming in. The industrial part of it is very beneficial to us because it gives us joint training with something that our firefighters don’t see every day in normal housefires and things like that,” says McGinnis.
Phase two of the project will include putting in a garage, a concrete pad for propane simulations, and a tram donated by Hawks Nest State Park for tram rescue training.
The Association plans to start phase two of the project within the next month.