Thursday, February 5, 2009

Willits firefighter training facility

Please click on photo to enlarge.

Photo by Elaine; from Willits Daily Photo blog.

This is a photo of the Willits California Little Lake Fire Department training tower. It is made up of five modified cargo containers. The containers are perfect for tower construction, they are already made to stack and lock together. The possibilities are endless as far as training scenarios go. Furniture and smoke can be added, and training for five story rescue can be implemented. The stairway on the outside is for training officers to view the students progress and an escape as an mechanism.

I called the Little Lake Fire Department and asked the training officer, Carl Magann, about the 6000 lb blocks. I had guessed correctly, but I didn’t want to commit to my opinion of what they are used for. The blocks are used for urban rescue training exercises. They move the blocks around with their equipment to get the firefighters used to using moving large objects safely.

They place the blocks for a training situation and the firefighters have to move them to a different place safely, without harming anyone or anything. The trick is redundancy. Nothing is moved without back-up. Firefighters use jacks, air bag lifts, hydraulic rams and jacks, but they always back up what they do with cribbing so nothing can slip. A back-up system is always in place.

Anyone that has looked in a newspaper has seen the large blocks of concrete that are scattered about after a building or bridge collapse. Remember the Cypress Structure Bridge in Oakland after the Loma Prieta earthquake? The firefighters are using those blocks for that kind of training.The town of Willits is very lucky to have such high quality training facilities, and such well trained personnel. The town has state of the art firefighter training. As a firefighter I am envious!


capdiamont said...

The Eureka training site also uses containers.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Cap, I looked on the net for photo's of Eureka's trainimg facility, but I could find any. I understand that Cresent City might also have one.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I put this comment over on Kym's blog also.

The situation all over California doesn't look good. As you know the rest of the nation cares very little about what happens to California. They feel like we think that we're above it all, so they just leave us to solve our own problems.

We screamed at our politicians for years that there would be hell to pay if they let the American’s jobs slip away. It all started with Reagan, who thought that the American workers were too powerful, and needed to lose a few jobs to keep inflation down. The jobs slipped overseas one by one, and the stock market went wild. It’s hard to train a hog to stop eating ducks after they’ve tasted one. Soon all of our jobs were offshore. It’s hard to pay bills when you don’t have a job. Many people just gave up, and are living on the street, or at a much reduced income. It’s very offensive to me to see them bailing out Wall Street, the very people that caused this economic mess. They should be bailing out grass roots workers. They need to start building infrastructure and, seeding jobs that provide real productivity in America. Growing things and building things. The money will get to the top soon enough, believe me!

Last year Calfire was cut back to the point that ALL of the local fire volunteers were called out at one time or another. I even took a picture of our empty fire station and posted it on my blogsite. As of yet we have not been reimbursed for our time spent working for Calfire. Not even an IOU. The local fire stations have already been robbed of funding by the state. Unless we get some funding for our departments we will not be able to cover for Calfire.

The situation is bleak to say the least and it doesn’t even make me feel better to tell then I told you so! If we don’t see some real money getting down to the street level, and soon, we will have certain disaster. So far all I hear out of Washington is the sounds of fiddles playing.

February 5, 2009 3:55 PM

Ben said...

Right on Ernie! I was just looking at a winning architectural design for an apartment house made of stacked shipping containers. It looked pretty cool.

capdiamont said...

No idea about any other site. I just seen their site, when I travel to do work at the Eureka Waste water Plant.

Fred said...

Cap wrote, "The Eureka training site also uses containers.".

I know the old Eureka training site used to be where Costco now sits. Where's the new one?

capdiamont said...

On the road to the Eureka Wastewater plant. Which runs along the bay for a short bit.