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There is opportunity in everything, even a building that is going to be demolished.
Bismarck Fire Department trained on a variety of firefighting operations throughout the Easter holiday weekend and through part of the day of Monday, April 10, before an empty building that had served as a location for Pier One Imports in south Bismarck was leveled.
Most of the fire department’s personnel were able to log time training in a consequence-free zone of training opportunities. On April 10, there were about 15 firefighters put through the paces of a variety of activities.
“Being able to train in this real-world environment served as a tremendous opportunity,” said Bismarck Fire Department Deputy Chief Brooks Martin. “We were able to practice breaking windows to ventilate rooms and cutting holes through metal roofing. We also had an opportunity to train on procedures if a firefighter needed to create a non-traditional entrance into, or exit out of, buildings, be it through sheetrock, wood or bricks.”
Traditionally, when the fire department conducts learning opportunities such as this for its firefighters, the training is done at one of the city’s five fire stations. However, when trying to simulate those conditions, items such as lumber or sheetrock, would need to be purchased for the training, if not already on hand.
To ensure public safety during the days spent training at the building, operations began within the building and were limited to the roof early on. On the final day of training, ground-floor glass windows were broken and holes were punched through the building exterior.
“We really need to thank Batis Development Company, the building owner, and contractors involved with the building demolition, Bower Excavating and Electric Systems, as well as Roers Construction,” said Bismarck Fire Department Deputy Chief Brooks Martin. “Their generosity with opening the location to us was really the catalyst for our firefighters being able to train in, on and around the building. We can’t thank them enough.”
The Bismarck Fire Department was organized in 1877. For more information about this department dedicated to the protection of life and property in the City of Bismarck, visit the City of Bismarck website.