Fire Department

Existing firefighter training facility. 

The New Albany Board of Aldermen on Oct. 6 purchased about an acre of land behind Fire Station No. 2 to be used as a future training location for firefighters.

The property was purchased for $5,000. Fire Station No. 2 is located on South Denton Road.

“We’re going to take that lot and make it part of our training facility,” said Fire Chief Mark Whiteside.

The lot that was purchased sits next to the fire department’s existing two-story training facility, which is used by city and county firefighters.

The current training facility is a two-story house with a living room, bedroom, kitchen and upstairs bedroom. There are bunk beds in the facility to simulate a child’s bedroom and a stove to simulate a stove fire.

The building can also be heated up with propane gas for training scenarios. The goal is to eventually make the existing training facility three stories.

“We have to set up every scenario from a training side to teach the guys how to fight fire . . .,” Whiteside said.

The new property will be used to put in a confined space and trench rescue training facility. Whiteside hopes the new training facility can be completed within five years.

Trench rescue can occur when someone gets stuck in a hole that caves in. The new training facility will teach the firefighters how to shore up the dirt and rescue the person.

There is a mobile home on the property that was purchased, but the fire department will look at getting rid of it.

In addition to getting more property for training, Fire Station No. 2 will also be expanded. There is a need for more space at Fire Station No. 2, which was built in 1996.

The plan is to add a 30-foot by 60-foot addition to the back of the fire station. He thinks expansion on the station will start after the first of the year.

The expansion will include a sleeping area, bathroom, office, laundry room, multipurpose room for workouts and training, a safe room, storage area, gear room and an upstairs for future expansion.

The laundry room will be accessible from the fire truck bay. This way firefighters returning from calls won’t have to take contaminated gear into the living area or sleeping quarters. This will provide a healthier environment, said Whiteside.

Furthermore, Whiteside said Station 1 and 2 currently do not have safe rooms where firefighters can go during severe weather. The plan is to add safe rooms to both stations.

The aldermen also approved a $70,105 bid for a system that will remove fire truck exhaust fumes from the station. The vast majority of the exhaust system is being paid for with a federal grant.

“This is going to make sure the guys are breathing clean air,” Whiteside said.

Whiteside said the fire department is thankful for the support it has received from the mayor and aldermen.

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