Packerland Fire District utilizing new training facility in Howard

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - Firefighters in the Packerland Fire District are breaking in their new training facility.

We first told you last year that three area fire departments teamed up to have the facility built in order to do critical training while staying close to their respective districts.

RELATED: Howard Fire Dept. to get its own fire training facility

“This container is the engineered container where we would do our live fire training,” Lt. Chris Hohol, training officer for the Howard Fire Department, showed us.

The facility is built out of old trucking containers, which have obstacles inside that firefighters could face when responding to a fire.

“The structure is certified by engineers, so we meet all the criteria for the NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] criteria. We have a self-contained breathing apparatus challenge prop inside, which is basically a maze that when they wear their air packs; it challenges them to control their breathing and calm down in tight spaces. There’s confined space prop built in and general search and rescue training,” said Lt. Hohol.

Firefighters from Howard, Suamico and Pulaski use facility at least once a week to keep up on life-saving skills.

“To be able to keep up on everything in a fast-changing environment is really important, and having a facility that you can do that on and is robust enough to actually change is really important,” said Lt. Hohol.

There are also some props on the outside of the building: a dumpster to practice putting out dumpster fires, a door to practice forced entry and more obstacles to be added.

“On the outside of the building we’ll be adding a roof simulator which simulates us climbing on a roof. That will be added here this summer,” said Hohol. “We also will be purchasing a flashover prop here for the facility that will be separate from the burn facility.”

It will teach firefighters how to avoid flash over conditions in a structure which is when all the contents in a building reach their ignition temperatures all at once.

The training facility at Howard’s Fire Station 2 is the perfect location for the Pulaski Fire Department.

“If we’re doing a training event, in 10-12 minutes we can be here and train and still be able to respond to calls and still have a duty crew back at our station to take care of the residents,” said Pulaski Fire Chief James Styczynski.

Area businesses donated almost everything on the inside and outside of the building.

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