New fire station includes new training tower

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Beckley Fire Department is just weeks away from leaving behind an old station for its brand new facility.

In just two or three weeks, the Beckley Fire Department hopes to leave behind its old station on Eisenhower drive and break in the new building.

“The contractors are still finishing up,” said Capt. Ernest Parsons. “There are still things that they’re doing to finish it. We’re not actually using it right now, obviously. They’re on the last stages of getting it finished up.”

Also part of the new facility is Beckley Code Enforcement and a training house just steps away from the fire department.

“If you’re going to train a lot, it’s good to have it local, good to have it right by where you’re going to work so we don’t have to travel far to get our training,” said firefighter Josh Davis.

Every day, firefighters spend time in training. Much of that is done in the training house, where teams simulate different situations. The training house features walls that move so firefighters can practice maneuvering through unfamiliar floor plans.

“We can set the floors up as if it’s a residence, you know, just your regular home with hallways and rooms,” said Parsons. “We can kind of compartmentalize it just to simulate as if we were going into a home and fighting a fire. We do search and rescue training [and] we do rope training.”

With hours of training required, the work isn’t for the faint of heart.

“I’d say high-rise week is probably my least favorite,” said Davis. “It’s very strenuous, very physical.”

Even so, firefighters look forward to getting into the new station and even trying out the new training house.

“I like rope training. We hang off the edge of the building and repel down. That’s probably my favorite training.”

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.