More than 300 area firefighters will come to Sherman Health’s Center Street Campus from June 25 through 29 to participate in high rise firefighter training conducted by the Elgin Fire Department.
The training will take place in the former hospital building, which will be demolished beginning in July, allowing firefighters the rare opportunity to train in a real high rise environment under real conditions. High rise firefighting is a unique type of firefighting that requires specialized knowledge and tactics. Specifically for Elgin firefighters, this training will better equip them to handle fires in high rise buildings such as the Elgin Tower Building, the Professional Building and Fountain Square Condominiums.
There will be four (4) two-hour training sessions per day. The live fire component of the training utilizes 55-gallon barrels to burn wood and straw to produce smoke and heat. The training is conducted by Elgin Fire Department personnel who have extensive experience conducting live fire training.
“For many of our area firefighters, this type of training is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy. “We are fortunate to have Sherman Health’s partnership to use the former hospital building for our community’s benefit.”
No one but fire personnel will be allowed in the building at all times. However, a special media area will be set up at the former Emergency Room entrance off Spring Street on Monday, June 25 from 8 to 10 a.m. Chief Fahy, representatives from Sherman Health, and other fire department personnel will be available for questions, comments and photos during this time. Additionally, before and after photographs of the training area which will be made available to the media by 12 p.m. that day.