Farmville Regional Fire Training Facility Holds Official Ribbon-cutting Ceremony on Wiley|Wilson-designed Building

Imagine racing into a burning building, when your instincts are telling you to run the other way. For millions of firefighters, this is a daily scene. Yet how do they train for such a scenario? They fight simulated fires in a dedicated training facility. Wiley|Wilson was pleased to provide civil, electrical, mechanical, structural, and architectural design services for such a building: the Town of Farmville’s new Regional Fire Training Facility. In January, Scott M. Francis, PE, LEED AP, Senior Engineer, Structural Department, who served as Project Manager, and Dennis W. Knight, Jr., PE, Senior Vice President, Project Manager, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“By all accounts, the town and, more importantly, the Farmville Fire Department as well as the 17 other local departments who have the opportunity to train there are very pleased with this new training facility,” Scott said. “Throughout the design process we focused on creating a structure that would provide safe and realistic training for the brave men and women who will use it most. The final result is a state-of-the-art facility that offers multiple training opportunities.”

The Farmville Regional Fire Training Center is a two-story, 1,900 SF pre-engineered metal building structure with a gas-fueled prop system. With this new facility, firefighters can train under live fire conditions by simulating an actual structure fire using propane.

The building meets the Virginia Department of Fire Programs’ (VDFP) Prototype II Class B Fuel building criteria, indicating that it was designed to match a prototype that consists of a pre-engineered metal building with a gas prop system that uses Class B fuel to simulate fires. The Farmville Regional Fire Training Center has a bed-shaped gas prop on the second floor and a stove-shaped prop on the first floor. During training a fire is lit in one of the two props.

“One of the advantages of the gas prop system is that the combustible product is free of known carcinogens, which is not necessarily the case with Class A fuels,” Scott explained. “The gas prop provides significantly better control on the temperature within the burn rooms, and it can be instantly extinguished by the training officer, who simply removes his finger from an emergency stop button found on a wireless control pendant.”

According to the town of Farmville, volunteers will be able to complete other training exercises at the new facility, including fire suppression, forcible entry, and search and rescue. Based on its success, the Farmville Fire Department is looking to expand the training opportunities at the Training Center in the near future.

This story from the Farmville Herald has more information about the new facility.