Hicksville Fire District Installs New Draeger Training Structure
This new structure provides the department with the ability to conduct search and rescue, confined space, ventilation, laddering, rappelling, confidence course, and other “cold” drills at a local facility. The benefit to the department is that more time can be spent in training exercises and more personnel can participate in the exercises.
The structure is fabricated from three, 40 foot long by 8 foot wide by 8 1/2 foot high land-sea cargo containers. The Hicksville Fire District worked closely with Draeger to develop the structure with features suited for the training department. The structure is two stories high, with two containers making up the first floor and one container making up the second floor. There are three smoke generators (one in each container) all controlled from one central location. The interior of the containers is painted flat black and even without the smoke, visibility is severely limited.
The first floor is divided into four separate rooms. The second floor has one long hallway and a training room. Inside the training room is a three level confined space training maze with reconfigurable panels. There is a vertical access hatch located on the roof of this room to enable firefighters to make access directly into the maze.
There is an internal staircase connecting the first and second floors. The roofs of both the first and second floors are surrounded by 3’ 6” high railings. The railings are divided into four foot long removable sections.
The Hicksville Fire District already had a concrete pad on which they desired to locate the structure. The only site preparation work required was to pour eight concrete footers on to which the first floor containers were located and anchored; and to bring the required electrical power from the nearby fire station to the pad. The footers and electrical work were carried out by the Hicksville Fire Districts maintenance department. Draeger fabricated the containers, coordinated the erection and onsite welding efforts and installed the smoke generation system and training maze.
From cradle to grave, the Hicksville Fire District project was less than 20 weeks. Hicksville’s training officers have now begun development of multiple training programs to be conducted in the new Draeger training structure. Initial responses regarding the flexibility of the training structure have been very positive.