Firefighters Use Old Building to Provide Realistic Training

By: Lindsey Yates Email
By: Lindsey Yates Email

Today the Glasgow Fire Department received real life scenario training, as the old Bolton's Landing restaurant went up in flames, serving as important training grounds.

Many may have considered the building an eyesore that's been closed for years but local firefighters gave new life to the old building.

"To bring not only our guys, the state guys, we've got about five other departments, and fireman from Tennessee. We've had a chance to do some interior fire tact, watch some fire growth, we've done some ventilation, some exterior fire tact, so it's been a really unique experience," says Chief Tony Atwood, Glasgow Fire Department.

An experience to teach, learn, observe, and ultimately save lives.

"We teach a lot of smoke, reading the smoke how to know what the smoke is doing. It's really hard to do that on the fire ground because everybody is really involved, so we usually don't get to use that time as a teaching point," says Atwood.

For those new to the department they were excited to be in a new classroom where they can put everything to the test.

"You should be able to know what it's going to do next, when the smoke is white what type of materials are burning for example, wood would be more whiter smoke, and when it's black it's plastic. We have training all day long out at Beaver Trail Training Center but you won't get anything like that as you would here," says Nick Swayne, who participated in the training.

With the Glasgow Fire Department currently understaffed training serves an even greater importance.

"We have a minimum crew and our margin for safety is really small and opportunities like this to be able to bring in and teach our guys how to be safe, how to operate short staffed is really a plus," says Atwood.

"I actually wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself to get to do something everyday that not many people get to do," says Swayne.

Chief Atwood said the ultimate goal is to teach them how to operate as a crew and safely.

Now that the building has been demolished the lot won't be empty for long.

Bill Logsdon the owner of Barren Outdoors recently bought the space as a new location for his store and needed the old building to be torn down.

He was in Atlanta when he saw a fire department doing a similar training exercise and thought he would offer the opportunity to the local departments.

Logsdon says while this helps get the building down faster the real purpose benefits the whole community.

"This will save lives in the future, this training, because they got rookies and they got some of the volunteer departments out here, some maybe a little inexperienced and it's been training for these folks that will enable them to do a better job down the road," says Logsdon.

He plans to have Barren Outdoors at the new location by the end of summer.

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