JONES COUNTY, MS. - Parts of this article is from the Jones County Volunteer Fire Department (JCVFD).
The Sandersville Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) in Jones county built the county's first volunteer firefighter training building. According to JCVFD it will help future and current firefighters in training exercises.
The 16 by 40 foot building is constructed by fusing together two shipping containers. “This can really up the training" says Captain Austin Bounds of the SVFD.
He adds. "It give everybody a sense of how hot it can get and how dangerous it can be inside of a structure, and hopefully it will cause everybody to take everything more serious.”
According to Captain Bounds it costs SVFD $7,500 to build. In the past county firefighters were training in donated buildings and now they can use the new building all year round.
"It is has always been an issue to not signing off on waiver and not have the responsibility of someone getting hurt. This is just a great way for the entire county to be able to train in active burning situation" says Captain Bounds.
On Sunday the building's construction was completed and the first test run was performed by firefighters from Sandersville and Powers.
The building from the outside appears to be two metal storage containers with holes cut into the sides to make window and door frames, all of which can be shut-off using heavy metal swinging doors; this allows the smoke and heat to build within the structure.
The heat and smoke are generated by a wood-burning furnace that is attached to the exterior of the structure and fanned into the interior through an opening in the side of the building.
The fire on Sunday was created by burning left-over scrap wood. It didn't take long for the fire to build momentum and begin to inundate the entire interior of the building.
Two firefighters then made entry into the structure, performing a brief search and rescue technique to ensure the functionality of the training building.
The building can be used for "search and rescue, fire suppression, ventilation... you can pretty much do everything you can at a house [fire]" Captain Bounds says.
According to JCVFD it appeared to be quite successful, as the firefighters stated it was difficult to see where they were going and it was extremely hot inside, a valuable training element for firefighters that have not been exposed to such intense heat.
He continues, “It has always been tough finding a house to burn, and finding places to train, and everyone in the county having limited budgets and what not, this right here is a lot easier to get to, and a lot easier to train."
Class 1 firefighter students take their state test on a similar structure. “The community will be a lot more pleased, that way we can be at our best when it is time to help them.”
The department plans to add to the building in the future says Captain Bounds.