The City of Irving Fire Department will open two of its signature Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects beginning in June.
In April 2016, the Fire Department began construction on the 12,000-square-foot Fire Station No. 12 at 2995 Regent Blvd. Also last year, the department kicked off construction on the state-of-the-art Irving-Grand Prairie Fire Training Facility near State Highway 161 and Belt Line Road. These additions, along with the city’s fifth front-line truck company at Station No. 12, will allow Irving to receive the Insurance Service Office’s (ISO) Public Protection Classification rating of 1, which is the best possible score. An ISO-1 rating reflects varying degrees of reductions in fire insurance costs for property owners. The city is waiting for official confirmation of the rating.
Fire Station No. 12 was funded through $3.9 million in bond funds. The station’s location is on the south side of Interstate Highway 635 just west of the Olympus bridge. In 2013, studies conducted by the International Association of Firefighters indicated this area lacked the proper coverage to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standard on response times. According to the NFPA, the first piece of fire apparatus must arrive in four minutes or less, while the total response of 15 firefighters must arrive within eight minutes. The study showed Fire Department response times in the area were two to four minutes later than the requirement — a problem that Fire Station No. 12 would correct.
Station No. 12 will house an Advanced Life Support ambulance, a 1,500-gallon-per-minute fire engine and a 100-foot tiller-ladder truck. According to the Fire Department, ladder trucks are an invaluable asset to the city, given the current and future development of high-density areas. With the help of these highly maneuverable tiller-style ladder trucks, firefighters can gain access to residents in need of help, regardless of whether they live in a one-story home or a multistory apartment complex.
The new fire training facility is a joint effort by the cities of Irving and Grand Prairie to train incoming and existing fire personnel on the numerous techniques involved in fire safety and rescue. This partnership allows both cities’ firefighters to benefit from state-of-the-art fire and rescue training.
The joint training facility will feature a fire training “burn” tower, with five different elevated levels. The first level will reflect that of a residential home, and the second level will mimic a multistory apartment complex, complete with a balcony for rescue practice. The upper levels will be used for high-rise commercial office building or apartment tower fire suppression and rescue training. The burn tower also will include an elevator shaft, rappel panel, and roof hatches to be used for a variety of training scenarios. There will be three separate rooms, each equipped for propane-fueled live fire training.
The joint training facility will feature a 4,000-square-foot building with a fully equipped classroom (with open-air capability) and cubicles for staff, restrooms, a kitchen and break room. Outside training simulators will consist of Trench Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Extrication and Class A live fire training areas.
Completion of the facility is slated for late June.
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