News Brief - Fire Rescue Training Facility Groundbreaking
An 11-acre site that will safely train Osceola County’s fire-fighting force for years to come and which will comply with requirements that help establish insurance rates for residents and businesses was commemorated Tuesday.
The new campus at 3186 Pershing Street will allow for a variety of scenarios including exercises in a 44-foot tall tower, hose and hydrant evolutions, ground ladder work, and aerial operations. In addition, low frequency, high-risk evolutions such as rope rescue and confined space operations will be practiced along with live fire training, all in accordance with National Fire Protection Association* standards.
Formerly, known as the Gilbert Park Residential Development, the training site was used by the Army Air Corps before and during World War II.
The $4.2 million Phase I will include all site work, a driver training area, fire hydrants and a small restroom. Valencia will use part of the driver pad for driver training.
Budgeted at $1.6 million, Phase II, which is ongoing concurrently with Phase I, will include the training tower. Both phases are projected to be completed by the beginning of 2019.
Fire training follows the Insurance Service Organization (ISO) schedule. Failure to meet the training requirements could result in a decrease in our overall ISO rating which will insurance affect rates.
Training for Osceola County Fire Rescue encompasses several different, yet distinct areas:
- 20 hours a month of in-service training drills to cover advancement of lines into structures, deployment of ladders, the use of tools to enter and ventilate structures, the practice of performing search and rescue in zero visibility, and the driving and operation of fire apparatus.
- EMS training. Biennially the Florida Department of Health requires 32 and 24 hours of continuing education for the recertification of Paramedics and EMTs, respectively. Biennially all Paramedics are required to recertify ACLS, and everyone is required to recertify their CPR.
- Specialized training includes things that the department is responsible for providing, but are of a low frequency, including aerial apparatus operations, truck company functions, vehicle and machinery rescue, high angle rope rescue, trench rescue, confined space rescue, and building collapse rescue.
- In-house officer development and career advancement classes.
Additionally, ISO requires a department have, or have access to, a drill tower, burn building, combustible liquid pit, library and training manuals, AV equipment, a pump cutaway, and hydrant cutaway. Currently, this requirement is being met by membership in the Central Florida Fire Academy. Because CFFA is located in Orlando, it is not a practical, convenient, or efficient use of resources.
* NFPA is the organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.