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Saint John Fire Department to hold open house for new fire training tower


On March 31, citizens of the City of Saint John are invited to visit the Saint John Fire Department’s training academy to learn about the proposed modular training tower to be erected at the site of the current training tower on University Avenue.

For over 45 years, fire fighters received live fire, ladder and search and rescue training in the Training/Burn tower located at Fire Station 8. In 2008, the tower was deemed unsafe. Two of the exterior brick walls have separated from the concrete substructure the concrete in the inner floors and ceiling is fatigued; and the roof is sagging towards collapse. The estimated cost to repair the tower is about the same as the cost for a new modular/movable tower. The current tower does not meet today’s standards (NFPA) for training towers.

“The City of Saint John is one of the most challenging municipalities for Fire Fighters,” says Acting Fire Chief Mark Gillan. “The risk profile is dominated by industrial threat that is complicated given the close proximity of older housing stock. The Saint John Fire Department is committed to provide a high level of training and certification, ensuring safety for citizens and firefighters.”

As an interim solution, and to meet the life safety training obligations, the Fire Department, with the support of Common Council, is planning to purchase and erect a modular training tower on the site of the current tower. The Fire Department is also working towards establishing a new training academy elsewhere in the city. The modular tower can be moved to the new site, once an academy is established.

The new tower will be able to accommodate propane-fuelled burn props. There will be little-to-no smoke, fumes or other emissions when the propane burn prop is in use. The tower will also have a Class A (wood, straw) burn room.

The open house will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Training Academy, 55 University Avenue.

For more information, please contact the Saint John Fire Department at 658-2910 or email saintjohn.ca.