New Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center Opens
The City of Tulsa, Tulsa Community College, and the Tulsa Fire Department celebrated the grand opening of the new Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center. Built for live-fire training for firefighters, this state of the art facility is the first of its kind in the state of Oklahoma.
“From a safety standpoint, this facility is crucial in keeping Tulsa firefighters trained and skilled to help the citizens in our community at a moment’s notice,” said Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. “This facility, made possible by a partnership between the City of Tulsa, Tulsa Fire and TCC, is a win-win for Tulsa as it will improve response capabilities and add to community preparedness on a regional basis.”
Mayor Bartlett, District 1 Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson, Tulsa Community College President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, TCC Foundation Chair Pierce Norton and Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell took part in the grand opening ceremony. The event highlighted the increased training and educational opportunities in fire and emergency response and included demonstrations and tours of the facility located at 2819 North New Haven Ave. on the TCC Northeast Campus.
“TCC is proud to house the new Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center, giving our students in the Fire and Emergency Services degree program access to new educational and training opportunities to better prepare them for a career in fire services,” said Goodson. “We have offered a Fire and Emergency Services degree program since TCC was founded in 1970 and we have a responsibility to ensure our graduates are workforce ready and this facility equips our students with the latest in fire and emergency response education.”
The Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center features a six-story drill tower, an outdoor classroom area, a fire station, a special operations building, advanced fire behavior burn structures or flashover chambers and a retention pond that collects water used during training exercises. Unlike the old training center, the new training center has a drill tower that allows firefighters to move doors, walls, and collapse floors to create live-fire training scenarios.
The new training facility includes various bedrooms, kitchens and business landscapes that simulate the different kinds of fires and replaces the department’s older fire training facility used since 1952. The old training center will continue to be used for Fire Dept. administration offices.
“Designed to simulate the situations that modern firefighters face, this facility will provide valuable training for both new and experienced responders,” said Driskell. “Tulsa’s firefighters will use this facility to make sure that they are the most highly skilled and best trained firefighters in the country.”
The new Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center is expected to serve as a regional training hub and could attract regional fire departments and fire brigades for training. In addition, the facility would be able to serve local companies and business as it relates to fire safety, petroleum and aviation in the future.
Funded by the 2005 General Obligation Bond Issue, the first phase of construction cost $12.9 million with an additional $3 million from sales tax for the Special Operations building. TCC purchased nearly 40 acres of land adjacent to the TCC Northeast Campus at approximately $2.2 million in land acquisition.
The next phase, which is not currently funded, could include a swift water rescue simulator, a small ‘city’ of additional burn buildings, an industrial loading rack and pipeline, a railroad spur with cars, and a multi-use burn pit to simulate liquid fuel fires and aircraft fires.
For more information about the Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/fire or watch the informational video with Fire Chief Ray Driskell. For more information about the TCC Fire and Emergency Services degree program visit the TCC website.