Construction begins on Safety Training Tower - KOAM TV 7

Construction begins on Safety Training Tower


Joplin Public Safety officials announced the initial construction phase of the Training Tower today during a public informational session. Interim Fire Chief James Furgerson, Fire Training Chief Andy Nimmo, and Police Captain Darren Gallup discussed the benefits that this new facility offers.

The four-story training tower will provide realistic and safe training environment for both fire and police personnel, and is part of the first phase of a two-phase development for the Public Safety Training Center. The tower will be constructed of structural steel with steel panels and movable interior walls. Additionally it will have three controlled burn areas and simulators for both a high-rise fire and/or an elevator rescue. The exterior will have a brick-like appearance, with provisions for teaching rappelling and ladder use operations.

In addition to these features, other fire training simulators will be installed to simulate lifelike fire conditions ranging from a couch or a kitchen fire, an attic fire and a flashover, all of which are possible in a real fire situation. These props will be built, designed and installed by Pro-Safe Fire Training Systems Inc., using heavy duty stainless steel and located in three separate burn rooms. The installation includes the controls for operating the fire and backup safety systems such as fail-safe valves, temperature monitoring systems, and ventilation and exhaust systems.

With the multiple features, the structure facilitates numerous training scenarios encountered in both residential and business occupancies for both the Fire and Police departments.

“In the past, firefighters had to travel to other departments or the training staff used old dilapidated structures for these types of exercises,” said Furgerson. “Neither was the best situation, but was the only available option at the time. With this new facility, we can utilize it for a variety of drills and scenarios because of the many training features it provides for the Public Safety staff.”

In addition to the Fire Department's use of the training tower, the Police Department will also utilize the facility for some of its training, specifically building clearing exercises.

The Training Tower will be located on the City property along Highway 171, located just south of the former airport terminal.

Funding for the Public Safety Training Tower was secured through the passage of a Public Safety Sales Tax in 2006. Construction of the training tower, including the burn props, was budgeted just short of $1.2 million dollars, with WHP Training Towers serving as the general contractor.

Phase I's initial component was the temporary training center that opened in the fall of 2013 in the former airport terminal on Dennis Weaver Boulevard. With 5,000 square feet, the training center provides classrooms and office space for training personnel in both fire suppression and law enforcement fields.

As the development of the Public Safety Training Center moves into Phase II, the hands-on training area will be completed along with the construction of a SWAT and K-9 obstacle course and additional outdoor training props. The project will conclude with the construction and occupancy of the new Public Safety Training Center Classroom and office facility. Work is estimated to be completed in the next few years.

Public safety officials have established the following as the Mission Statement for the PSTC:

To facilitate safe, professional and relevant public safety education and training based upon industry standards and best practices. We will utilize a multidisciplinary and dynamic approach including the most contemporary methodologies and technology, all of which ultimately results in superior emergency services to the public.

For more information about the PSTC, contact Police Assistant Chief Matt Stewart at 417-623-3131, ext. 696, or Fire Training Chief Andy Nimmo at 417-624-0820, ext. 1306.

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