June 2013: Fire Marshal Harmon and then Captain Jerry Hinson presented a request to Lowe’s Home Improvement of Forest City for building materials to construct several much needed training props. After the initial meeting with Lowe’s General Manager, Chris Angel, the requested materials were graciously donated to Forest City Fire Rescue and prop construction began. The next phase of this training venture was the needed space to house the props.
Public Works Director, Stewart Briscoe, provided an area in a building owned by the town and used for storage by Public Works. After working for three days to rearrange equipment, store materials, and conduct general cleaning, we have a 2100 sq. ft. area to store our newly constructed props.
Since that time we have added many props to this facility: Denver Drill, Pittsburgh Drill, Window Bail Out prop, Entanglement Box, Floor Collapse prop, Ventilation Roof, Disoriented Firefighter prop, Residential search (w/furniture), Nance Drill, Ceiling Collapse prop, and second story windows. This facility has allowed us to provide realistic training to our staff on topics such as: Mayday, Self-Survival, VEIS, RIT, Rescue, and Air Management. Having a training facility within our city limits allows our shifts to perform valuable company training, a place to perform air consumption tests, and the physical agility tests for new firefighters. Beaver Street also plays host to numerous Firefighter classes for students from a four-county area.
This facility would not have been possible without the support of Chief Mark McCurry, Chris Angel, Stewart Briscoe, and Lowe’s new GM Tom Burow, the vision and support of Captain Hinson, and all the hard work of the career staff of Forest City Fire-Rescue. Someone once said, “Our job is 99 percent preparation and 1 percent performance.” We strive to provide excellent training, and Beaver Street is a great example of a community coming together to improve service and performance through training.