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RLFD’s training center takes shape

Thursday, January 13, 2022
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Photos by Jon Trapp
The Red Lodge Fire Department’s training center is expected to be ready by this spring.

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Red Lodge Fire Rescue focuses on training to ensure that providers can respond to incidents safely, efficiently and effectively. Currently, divisions train predominately at the Red Lodge Fire station and in other local areas doing the best they can to simulate real world environments. Additionally, members are able to take part in periodic training offered in other communities and through travelling resources to get experience with things like live fire, high angle rescue, and simulated EMS calls. 

For over a decade, Red Lodge Fire Rescue has dreamed of a training facility that will accommodate more real-world type training at a local space that could also serve as a regional training center available to other emergency services, law enforcement and similar groups for their ongoing training needs. It can also serve as a location to host expert trainers from other parts of the state and country to help raise the level of local expertise and capability. Over the past two years, the dream of the Training Center has started to become a reality through the efforts and optimism of Red Lodge Fire Rescue members, the Red Lodge Fire Rescue Foundation and the financial support and expertise of community members. 

The first stage of the Training Center involves the construction of a training tower, a storage and small classroom building, and training pads on 4 acres of land on Highway 78, about 2 miles from the Red Lodge station.  The training tower is expected to be complete by early spring. Training pads for vehicle extrication, vehicle fire and propane fire training will be poured when the weather allows this spring and the accessory building should be completed by the end of the summer 2022. 

The Training Tower is a prefabricated building customized to Red Lodge Fire Rescue’s specifications provided by Fire Facilities, a manufacturer of fire training buildings located in Wisconsin. The three story training tower provides live fire training utilizing two live fire rooms, a smoke generation system for training in a fire-like environment with “cold smoke”, a variety of internal training props including moveable walls, internal and external stairways, a simulated chimney fire prop, window and balcony egress and ingress, forced entry door, and roof access and ventilation. There is also a rappelling wall for high angle and rope rescue training.  

The Training Center will provide an emergency services training facility that: Allows Red Lodge Fire Rescue to meet our mission of high-quality emergency services; Accommodates public education and training; Is available for other emergency services partners to increase capacity throughout the region; Provides regional trainings with national level experts and skills; Promotes collaboration between local, state and national emergency service providers (Fire, EMS, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Hospitals, DES, etc.) and Improves our ability to save lives, property and money.

Red Lodge Fire Rescue continues to identify training needs and work towards providing members, partners and the community with high-quality service through a focus on rescuer excellence for our members and other agencies in the area. This Training Center is only a part of our plans as we move forward. We are excited about the opportunities it will provide and are thankful to everyone who has helped make it a reality. 

 

Submitted by Amy Hyfield, RLFD Public Information Officer.

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