By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater firefighters will soon be able to hone their structure firefighting skills right in their own backyard.
Fire Chief Tom Bradley said funding for a building simulator system has been approved and bids will go out this weekend.
As the bidding process is beginning, Bradley said it is difficult to say what it will cost but it would be less than $100,000.
It will be placed behind fire station No. 1 on Main Street.
Firefighters will be able spray water, fill the building with smoke, run search and rescue and practice rapid interventions.
“We will be able to do all the things here that we would at a real fire scene,” Bradley said, adding that it will be a showcase for the department. He said it will be 40 feet long, 16 feet tall and 16 feet wide. The department also has the option to make additions to the building if needed in the future.
Bradley said the new training facility will also benefit other fire departments in the Payne County area that train together with Stillwater firefighters.
In the past, the department would use buildings that were going to be torn down for their fire training when they were available.
This is one of several huge capital improvements the department has accomplished in the past three years.
The department now has a 3,500-gallon water tanker and a $323,000 rescue truck.
Bradley attributed the gains to hard work by city employees and firefighters who take the time to prioritize the fire department and research new equipment.
Bradley said the improvements that have been made at the Stillwater Fire Department in the past three years often don’t happen at other departments over the course of 15 years.