Tower to enhance fire-science program

By on July 9, 2010

Local fire departments will have access to facility
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board has set aside land on the high school’s campus for a new training tower for the Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) fire-science program.

The tower, which officials hope will be finished by this fall, will be 30 feet high, 40 feet long and 25 feet wide, constructed out of recycled overseas shipping containers, and funded through grants the FVCC obtained.

“I don’t know that an actual cost has yet to be determined, but it would not be a direct cost to the Kaneland School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “Any money required beyond what is received in the grant (FVCC received to build the training facility) would need to be funded through the career center budget.”

The tower will allow fire-science instructors to simulate firefighting conditions more accurately during class sessions.

“The tower provides a structure in which we can now throw ladders against, move charged hose lines through, fill with artificial smoke (and practice) other skills we have not been able to do as well as we should have before,” FVCC fire-rescue instructor Gary Baum said.

The tower will benefit not only the FVCC fire-science program, but the community as a whole, because fire departments also will have access to the facility as long as their training does not interfere with school functions.

“It is the goal of the Fox Valley Career Center to train future firefighters and EMTs to serve their communities, and in turn provide a facility to allow those already serving a place to continue their training,” he said.