The Washington State Fire Training Academy (FTA), located near North Bend, serves local communities, state agencies, and industry by providing live fire training to fire and emergency response personnel, both public and private.
We develop, provide and support local public education programs aimed at educating the public about fire prevention and general safety; we train Washington State’s fire service, in the field and at the State Fire Training Academy; we certify fire service members in meeting national standards and skills.
50810 SE Grouse Ridge Road
PO Box 1273
North Bend, WA 98045
FTA business hours are from 8:00 AM
to 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday.
Eastbound - take exit 38 off I-90, turn right off the exit. The road will run parallel to the freeway approximately two miles, then curves left back under the freeway and through a yellow pole gate. Follow the one lane access road approximately 2.5 miles to the Fire Training Academy administration building. Speed limit on access road is 20 mph.
Westbound - take exit 38 off I-90, turn right off the exit. Follow road through the yellow gate to access road. Follow the single lane access road approximately 2.5 miles to the administration building. Speed limit on the access road is 20 mph.
Housing & Dormitory Rules
Housing consisting of bunk style rooms with two bunk-beds is available on a very limited basis at $30.00 per night. Individuals must provide their own pillows and toiletries. We cannot guarantee housing availability until the first day of your course. Check-out time is 8:30 a.m. and the student is responsible for the cleanliness of the room.
The Washington State Fire Training Academy has eight specialized props. Each prop has several components. Following is a physical description of each prop, technical aspects, what a student might experience when training at the prop, and photographs.
Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Prop
An aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) prop was dedicated at the Fire Training Academy in November of 1998. A consortium of public and private partnerships identified a need and worked diligently to make it a reality. The ARFF prop sits on an 11-acre site that includes an operations building with a control room, clean-up facilities for the firefighters, a small weather station, and a storage bay that can house three aircraft firefighting apparatus. On-site are fuel tanks, a wastewater treatment facility, and water retention ponds. The burn pit area is approximately 20,000 square feet.
The environmental features surpass all similar facilities in the United States. This prop provides training opportunities for professionals who respond to and assist in major incidents involving an aircraft emergency. The prop includes a mockup of the major components of three types of aircraft. Training scenarios can involve fires in a wide-body jet (DC-10 or B747), narrow body jet (737 or MD-80), or a commuter aircraft. The prop is capable of burning nearly 1,000 gallons of jet fuel per minute and creates a spectacular realistic fire while in use. Providing a realistic opportunity to prepare employees, emergency responders, and other allied professionals who may be involved in an event of this magnitude is critical to the protection of the public.
Burn Tower Training Prop
The Fire Training Academy has a six-story concrete burn tower for presenting structural firefighting in a variety of scenarios. The training tower can be approached from two sides by fire apparatus and will facilitate life-rescue training with laddering, rope-rescue, and air bags. The tower interior has burn rooms on all six floors and a simulated empty elevator shaft.
Flammable Liquids Prop
The flammable liquids prop has eight burn pads. Fuel is pumped to each burn pad from a 22,000-gallon tank farm which stores gasoline, diesel fuels, and liquefied petroleum gas. Oversight of all operations is provided at each prop by above ground fuel control valves providing Fireground Safety Officers and instructors the ability to stop any operations by remote control that might be hazardous. Safety officers can stop any operation by remote control that might be hazardous.
While training at the cars-at-the-curb component, students learn how fuel flows down a curb and how to protect drains. In the overturned tanker component, students fight fire on both sides of the tanker and apply a dome cover clamp. In this component, students have fire all around them and learn how to hold fuel back to secure valves. The overhead flange component introduces students to oil spray fires. At the loading dock component, students learn how to go up and down ladders to secure valves under fire conditions. At the fuel production systems component, students learn how to hold back fuel and secure valves under fire conditions. At the cracking tower component, students stand by with hose lines to protect another student, who extinguishes the fire with a wheeled dry chemical extinguisher. At the floating lid fuel tank component, students learn the difficulty of extinguishing flammable liquids with water. At the portable fire extinguishers component, students learn to use a variety of portable fire extinguishers, including dry chemical, carbon dioxide, and foam.
The Fire Training Academy is working toward developing a foam prop so students can also use foam to extinguish fires.
Hazardous Materials Prop
The 10,000-sq. ft. facility is unusual because it provides year-round indoor sheltered training in which most of the HazMat response training can be conducted. The facility includes a classroom and an area to change into protective equipment with extensive storage. Inside, the facility has a confined space prop, simulated ammonia compressor room, simulated chlorine prop representing a water purification system, and a complete section of a street with street drains and a fire hydrant. It has the capability for large demonstration equipment to be driven in or through the building. It has a loading dock training prop, complete with a trailer containing varying hazardous cargo components. Outside, the prop includes a 55-ton chlorine rail car, which can be accessed by fire department ladders on one side, and has a standard industrial setup with a fixed working platform on the other side.
The HazMat prop also includes a rollover 5,000-gallon petroleum tanker and a 25-foot tall storage tank designed for both water and petroleum storage features. The hazmat prop also includes a confined space prop with below-grade confined space rescue and a vertical rescue prop. The props were designed to be very realistic and produce simulated vapors or liquids that would result from a typical industrial release. An instructor may spray students with a dye-colored water to simulate contamination. The student then has to wash down to remove the contaminant in a decontamination area in the simulated street section.
The helicopter firefighting prop is made of heavy metal plates shaped to simulate a crashed helicopter. The prop uses fossil fuel and can simulate exterior and interior fires. The prop has received several upgrades and improvements to allow for comprehensive training. A section of the prop has been enlarged to allow for interior fire extinguishment simultaneously while performing rescue operations. A weapons prop has also been installed to train shipboard personnel in weapons protection and firefighting during helicopter operations.
In addition, the Fire Training Academy has designed a portable wing assembly to be used in conjunction with the helicopter body to simulate smaller type aircraft for those structural fire departments that respond to fires involving small aircraft.
Marine Shipboard Prop
The marine shipboard prop is a 40-foot by 30-foot concrete structure, three stories high that simulates a mid-ship section of a vessel. It has exterior ladder access to steel decks and has authentic marine latch type doors that provide access to the interior compartments of the prop. The prop is used by students from the Navy, the Coast Guard, the marine industry, and fire departments that protect vessels in open waters or dock areas. Students experience multi-level fires inside a simulated steam/diesel engine room. The engine room prop was built to simulate both a diesel and a steam propulsion plant. It provides training for bilge fires, fuel line failure fires, boiler fires, fuel tank overflow fires, and engine room access procedures. There is also an interior prop for Class A fires in a galley space. Injury rescue training is also included in the course.
In addition, shipping containers have been added to provide additional prop area to help demonstrate the difficulties experienced in moving hose and equipment through small shipboard passageways. This addition is particularly aimed at the land-based fire fighter who provides shipboard firefighting.
Search and Rescue Maze
The search and rescue maze is a three-story concrete structure adjacent to the burn tower that consists of two stories and a roof. The maze is easily arranged to provide varied situations and includes the elements of darkness, smoke, and noise. Training sessions consist of several rescue exercises at varying degrees of difficulty and complexity. For example, search and rescue one victim, two victims, and a victim with entrapment. Included on the top floor of the maze is a simulated rafter room.
The maze emphasizes various levels of physical stress and endurance. The physical exertion simulates the stress and tension that a firefighter may experience in a real situation, climbing ladders, pulling hose, setting up equipment, or movement in restricted situations encountered in a burning building. Controlled breathing, teamwork, and safety when moving though scuttles, joists, stairs, and tunnels are stressed.
Search and Rescue Prop
Adjacent to the burn tower is a two-story concrete burn-room facility which has areas representing retail, warehouse, motel, and residential interiors. A single-story wood-structure hotel prop simulates a central passageway with three small hotel rooms on each side and provides search and rescue in a simulated hotel environment. A two-story residential wood structure house prop provides search and rescue training in a simulated residential structure. On the second floor of the burn-room facility is a retail/storage machine shop. In these props, students receive instruction in ventilation, search and rescue, and sprinkler systems. A separate sprinkler classroom holds working models of all common sprinkler control systems and heads.
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