Oshkosh Fire Department unveils new training tower

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Oshkosh Fire Department unveiled its new training tower this weekend.

“We’re very excited about what the future holds for the fire department, for the community, and for this property,” said Chief Michael Stanley.

The Oshkosh Fire Department held a ribbon cutting of sorts to dedicate its new training tower.

“This training tower allows our public safety, our fire department, to train in a way that helps keep our community safe,” said Mayor Lori Palmeri.

“Eventually we want to see this become a full training facility,” said City Manager Mike Rohloff.

“What we see in the future is having classrooms out here, having more props for different things to train on like hazard material response, more ability to do firefighting, search and rescue training,” said Stanley.

Plans for this training center have been years in the making, and the tower is just the first part of that, but its versatility allows for a lot of different kinds of training.

There are mock roofs and windows throughout the tower to practice attaching to, and moving in and out of, buildings.

“It’s got countless anchor points for us to rappel off of, we can take panels out of the floor and practice confined space rescues,” said Stanley. “Or in the event a firefighter falls through the floor, through a staircase, that takes some special techniques to be able to efficiently and effectively rescue them.”

The six-floor tower even has its own water system, allowing for more realistic training.

Before the department would have to travel to other facilities in Neenah or Appleton in order to do in-depth training.

“We want them to stay in town as much as possible,” said Rohloff. “This will enable our on-duty crews to train right here and if they need to respond they can do that.”

“I’m proud that we have this training center started in the form of this tower and appreciate everybody’s work and patience and consideration for what this means for our community,” said Palmeri.

Though it may take some time yet for a full training center to be completed, Stanley thinks it’s a good start.

“We’ve made a huge leap forward for our ability to train,” said Stanley.

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