City moves forward with fire department training site
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT – City plan commission members unanimously approved a conditional use permit on March 1, to construct a fire department training site at 3100 Whiting Avenue in Stevens Point.
The future site will include a classroom and storage building, fixed concrete burn cells, fixed roof props, fixed concrete extrication pad, tower and splash tower for ladder training, confined space facilities, moveable burn cells, practice rescue area, burn tower, and an associated parking space.
The motion passed with an added caveat: the department must notify surrounding residents of any controlled burns during the hours of 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. on any day.
Alder Tori Jennings voiced concerns about what the department was burning during their live training exercises. Fire department staff clarified that the burnings mostly consist of straw and wooden pallets.
The new training facilities are a joint effort between the Stevens Point Fire department and Mid-State Technical College.
Mayor Mike Wiza sees the new site as a future cornerstone of the community.
“This is huge for the city,” Wiza said. “We will be a hub for this kind of training for central Wisconsin for decades.”
The building process is planned in three phases and is estimated to take 3-10 years to fully complete:
Phase One will construct parking spaces; install two fixed concrete burn cells; install four fixed roof props; and construct one fixed concrete extrication pad.
Phase Two consists of building training and splash tower for rope and ladder training.
Phase Three will place a confined space prop; begin construction on the classroom and storage building; install a second hydrant; construct a burn tower and collapse rescue area; place four moveable burn cells; and create a trench rescue area for continually changing formations.