WALLA WALLA, Washington – A fire training partnership among the Walla Walla Fire Department, Walla Walla County Fire District No. 4 and students at Walla Walla Community College is paying off with a soon-to-be installed fire training prop.
Chief Bob Yancey said Walla Walla Community College recently received a grant for a burn room, which is made up of two specially-designed modular cargo containers.
“One of them is actually designed to be the burn room, where you light the fire with – it’s call live fire, it has wood and particle board,” Yancey said. “It creates the heat, the smoke and the flames to train firefighters what to look for in flashovers.”
WWFD and WWCFD No. 4 will pay to have this “burn room” installed at the city’s drill tower. Yancey said the timing of that is perfect because the city’s drill tower is over 45 years old and has been red tagged by the state.
“We can’t use it until we invest some money until we get it up to speed, up to code and safety standards,” Yancey said. “So this (burn room) is actually going to give us an opportunity to do some live fire burning, training for the college students, as well as our own people in the area – volunteers and paid staff.”
Yancey hopes to have the burn room mounted on footings and ready to use by the end of June.
Yancey believes the partnership with the fire science degree program at the college began in the mid-1990s. Yancey said his department and WWCFD No. 4 have also been involved in the fire academy, which is three quarters of the two-year program. Fire academy teaches people how to be firefighters complete with gear, live fire training, how to throw a ladder, and how to roll hoses.