Training grounds provide integral part of firefighters education

Photo by Amy Cherry - The 2.5-story tower on the Crystal Fire Department training grounds allows for firefighters to practice a wide variety of emergency scenarios.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Over the past 41 years, Crystal Fire Department member have been utilizing training grounds along West Creek Road in St. Marys to conduct live fire training, essential to the health and safety of the department and the community.
While multiple buildings are situated on the property, the 2.5-story tower allows them to simulate residential, industrial and attic fires. Tower fires mimic the smoke and fumes generated by building materials which can disorient the most experienced firefighters.
Stairways situated inside and outside the tower allow them to learn to navigate them as well.
CFD Public Information Officer Tom Bauer explained firefighters constructed special panels they use to chop holes in the roof to mimic roof penetration.
Firefighters also practice their laddering skills on the tower while also learning how to repel off of it.
"We can do almost every aspect of training in the tower," Bauer noted.


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