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Tower provides firefighters with life-saving training
firefighter training THIS ONE color
Lisa Hobbs photo Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy towed in a mobile training tower to provide McMinnville Fire Department with hands-on rescue training.

A mobile training tower offered by the state has provided McMinnville Fire Department firefighters with training.

“This is our training tower,” said Charlie Armstrong, fire instructor with the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy. “It is designed to provide firefighters with hands-on experience with fire suppression with a sprinkler and standpipe system.”

The three-story tower is similar to what firefighters would encounter in a multi-level apartment building, says Armstrong.

“We have a smoke generator inside and we fill the structure with smoke,” said Armstrong. “When they enter, it’s smoke-out condition inside. They can’t see anything. They have to make their way up the flights of stairs. It is fully equipped with sprinklers and standpipes. When the sprinkler system comes on, they will get wet.”

The entry door includes real-life forcible entry training. Windows on floors two and three are provided for ground ladder access. Rappelling anchor points are provided on each upper floor, as well as the roof. Firefighters must search the stairwell, find the mannequin, and remove it from the building using one of the exit points: door, window or roof.

The tower is designed for firefighters, first-responders, law enforcement or any agency needing a transportable training platform.

The Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy assists departments in offering the training knowledge they need for safety. Among those services is a driving simulator that builds skills for emergency drivers.

 “I’d like to commend McMinnville Fire Department for providing this additional training to its firefighters,” said Armstrong. “It shows their dedication to protecting the city of McMinnville and its citizens.”

Training took place in the shadow of the downtown water tower last Wednesday and Thursday.