Red hot flames burned at 4191 Macon Road Thursday as firefighters watched with pride.
The combustion was part of the grand opening of a new Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services training facility, which includes a burn building, pavilion and control room.
The training facility is located behind a new fire station built in the Spring of 2016. On Thursday, the event included a ribbon-cutting for all four structures. Participants included Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, City Manager Isaiah Hugley and other city officials. Firefighters and EMS workers also attended in full force.
“It’s going to allow us to do a lot more different types of training that we didn’t have before,” said Deputy Fire Chief Greg Lang later in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “We’re going to be able to do not just our fire training but also our rescue training along with our confined space training.”
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Lang said the city spent about $1.1 million for the burn building and about $800,000 for the pavilion and the control room.
He said safety is important, and the control room will help firefighters monitor activity in the burn building, which includes a three-story tube to lower firefighters into the building.
“If they see something that’s kind of dangerous, they can shut the system down and prevent any injuries from happening,” he explained. “It’s just a great facility that we’ve got now and it’s something that should be here for a long time.”
Lang said the new facility is unmatched anywhere in the state and something in which the community can take pride.
“I think it’s going to help us attract more candidates, too,” he added. “When they come out and see that type of facility during orientation, I think it’s going to really make somebody wanting to be a firefighter say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe they have this type of facility.’ ”