Schuylkill County firefighters train in new burn building

WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Firefighters suit up to fight fire, after fire. It's part of a training program in Schuylkill County's new burn building. Inside the building, each room has a crib in it with pallets and straw inside, when they crank up the heat, that ignites, and the firefighters take over.

"They get to feel the heat, they get to see the thermal layering they get to do some hose management in there," said Jim Misstishin, Asst. Fire Chief, city of Pottsville.

This is the first live burn in the new building. The Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters' Association is checking to see if the building is up to par by bringing the heat up to 12-hundred degrees.

The building was built specifically to train firefighters in this region. It's modeled after a row home; the most common call these firefighters respond to. The building has 10 rooms, which can be used to create different scenarios, like a prison cell fire, or a home with a hoarding problem.

"Those are obstacles that can take a firefighters life in a moment. This training is essential," said Frank Zangari, training committee chairman.

The state-of-the-art-building cost more than 1.5 million dollars. That money comes from local fire companies, county resources and help from the state.

"This is going to give them the training they need to protect the community and it's money well spent," said Rep. Neal Goodman.

Firefighters will be trained to put out fires, but they'll also learn about respiratory protection, and ways to escape safely.

"To make sure our firefighters come back to their families," said commissioner Gary Hess.

The building is expected to last for the next 50 years, and will be used by more than 100 fire companies in Schuylkill County.

"If you just learn one thing that will make you safer in the future, it's so valuable to our fire service," said Rep. Mike Tobash.



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