Sunday, October 22, 2017

Local Fire Companies Evaluate New Schuylkill County Burn Building

Firefighters evaluate new burn building at  Schuylkill County Fire Training Center.

County Fire Departments spent their Sunday, getting their first training at a new state of the art facility.

The building, which was designed by architect, David Streebin, of Omaha, Nebraska of RDG Planning and Design, gives fighters the ability to train in as many scenarios possible in fighting fires.

The facility, located outside of Frackville, contains 10 rooms which range from a "row home" style house, home with a garage, jail cell, homes with awnings, and a home where a hoarder might live. The facility can also be used to recreate a live shooter scenario.

Officials were on site today monitoring the training, and testing new tools that monitor the temperatures of the rooms in real time. 

"The new facility helps monitor and better simulate real life scenario temperatures that reach over 1,200 degrees", said Frank Zangari, President of the Schuylkill County Fire Chiefs Association.

The new facility is reported to last anywhere from 50 to 75 years. The previous building, which was deemed unsafe prior to demolition, only lasted 24 years.

County Officials were also on site including Schuylkill County Commissioners George Halcovage and Gary Hess.

"This project is a long time coming and is a huge step forward for Schuylkill County.  If our firefighters learn something from this that saves one life, it's worth it", said Halcovage.

Members of Schuylkill County Emergency Management, Greg Quandel, President / CEO of Quandel Performance Construction, a Quandel Enterprise Company, Eric Eichenberg, Minersville fire chief and lead trustee with the Schuylkill County Firefighters Association, Representative Neal Goodman, Representative Jerry Knowles and Representative Mike Tobash, were on hand.

A few fire companies that trained at the facility on Sunday were Englewood, Pottsville, Minersville, and Pine Grove.  These companies will then provide feedback to the building engineers, Board Members, and Association Officers.