Released By Osceola County Community Outreach/Public Information Office
An 11-acre site to safely train Osceola County’s fire-fighting force for years to come and which complies with requirements that establish insurance rates for residents and businesses opened last week.
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.
The concept of an Osceola County fire training facility began in 2012, officials said.
“This is a $6 million commitment to public safety. Training is one of the most important functions of a modern fire department because ensuring personnel are prepared to respond to an emergency protects them and the public,” said Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “This profession is inherently dangerous. But at the end of the day, we want to make sure that all our first-responders go home. Raising our training capabilities on here translates to time saved when our firefighters are trying to protect against loss of property and life.”
Formerly known as the Gilbert Park Residential Development, the site was used by the Army Air Corps for training before and during World War II.
In addition to the training tower, the facility includes a driver training area, fire hydrants and a small restroom. Valencia College will use part of the driver pad for driver training.
* NFPA is the organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.