CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston firefighters have a new temporary training facility during the months leading up to the demolition of Sergeant Jasper Apartment.
The old apartment building located at 310 Broad Street will serve as a training center for the men and women who work to keep the City of Charleston safe. Through basic search and rescue, forcible entry, searching for a missing or lost firefighter and other training tactics, crews will take advantage of the 14-story building to refine their skills.
"The Jasper has a long history of people with the community," said Beach Company Marketing Director Karen Bacot. "People have lived here since 1950 and people have a lot of fun. It's a part of the community and we like to allow the opportunity for the community to benefit from this experience."
The building will be demolished, floor by floor, starting in March. Until then, Charleston Fire Department will use the building as often as possible.
"To have an opportunity to really train this size, this magnitude is huge for the department," said Battalion Chief Robby Baldwin. "The amount of rooms, the amount of doors that allows us to come in here and drill and kind of refine our skills is really rare. Across the nation, you don't get these types of opportunities."
There is still an operating convenience store on the first floor of the apartment building. Bacot says that will close in February and the company is working to decide what to do with the property.
"We've been meeting with a lot of groups to get input, like the neighborhood groups and preservation society and what not and just getting a lot of input so we can make a plan that works best for everybody," Bacot said.
While the future of the apartment complex is unclear right now, Charleston firefighters are sure it will be an asset to the department leading up to its demolition.