SANDERSVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Construction has been completed on a training facility for volunteer firefighters in Jones County.
Sandersville Volunteer Fire Department in Jones County under the guidance of volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Responder Austin Bounds built the county's first volunteer firefighter training building.
The 16 by 40 foot building, constructed by fusing together two shipping containers, will be used in a variety of ways to help support firefighter training exercises.
According to Bounds, the building can be used for "search and rescue, fire suppression, ventilation, you can pretty much do everything you can at a house [fire]."
Bounds also that the building will be used for training in mutual aid agreements with other Jones County Volunteer Fire Departments, and that the entire county volunteer firefighter workforce will have access to the building.
Bounds said that they plan to expand on the current structure with the hope that one day it will be turned into a two-story building that can be used for rope training, among other types of firefighter techniques that are implemented when dealing with a multi-level structure.
Construction was completed Sunday, 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.
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.
In addition to ongoing firefighter training and mutual aid training, Bounds stated that the structure will also be made available to Firefighter 1 (and other training classes) students for practice during their skills training.
The idea for the building was adapted from other similar firefighter training centers in the area.