Charleston Fire Department conducting training at downtown building

Published: Jan. 27, 2015 at 6:56 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2015 at 6:58 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Fire Department will be training at a 14-story building in downtown Charleston.

The Beach Company has partnered with the fire department to allow training in the vacant Sergeant Jasper Apartments prior to the structural demolition that will commence in March of 2015.

The building was originally constructed in 1948 and is one of the tallest buildings in the city. The building housed 221 one and two bedroom apartments and commercial tenant space on the first floor.

The building has been vacant since August of 2014.

“A building of this size allows the department to train on a variety of scenarios, from routine forcible entries to the challenges of operating in a high-rise structure,” said Mark Davis, Assistant Chief of Special Operations. “We can train on procedures, test concepts, and develop new and safer methods to carry out our mission.”

The Charleston Fire Department Training Division has been teaching a variety of programs in the building since January 9th, 2015, and will continue to rotate department personnel through the building for several more training evolutions.

Training evolutions that will be completed include, but are not limited to:

1) Forcible Entry: Review and practice of standard and advanced technics with a variety of tools on various door configurations.

2) Search & Rescue – Trapped Victims: Practice with basic search operations, improving room orientation, use of the thermal imaging cameras, searching for and rescuing multiple victims.

3) Search & Rescue – Trapped or Lost Firefighter: Review and practice Incident Command during a mayday situation, practicing radio communications, search techniques, emergency breathing support systems, and packaging of a downed firefighter.

4) Advanced Truck Company Operations: Search and rescue, forcible entry, and coordination with auto-aide partners.

5) High-Rise Drills: Operations during a simulated high-rise fire event with trapped victims.

“Vacant structures of this size provide an invaluable training opportunity for the fire service,” said Deputy Fire Chief John Tippett. “Our members can implement tactics and strategies from the classroom in a realistic environment to better hone their skills and abilities. Additionally, we can train with our auto-aide partners to improve coordination efforts during emergencies in buildings of this scale.”

"The Charleston Fire Department appreciates the opportunity provided by the Beach Company to train and better prepare our members to respond to the needs of the community," states a press release by CFD.

Information provided by the Charleston Fire Department.