GFFR conducting training downtown

Great Falls Fire Rescue is conducting training downtown this week.

Their training every day this week so that each company gets a chance to run through the exercise.

The training is part of their quarterly rotation and this week’s training is multi-family residential.

NeighborWorks Great Falls allowed them to use the Baatz building, which is currently vacant and about to undergo a major redevelopment into permanent supportive housing.

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Nolan Eggen, GFFR’s training coordinator, said the Baatz building offers training on a building that’s unfamiliar to many of the firefighters.

He said they were grateful to NWGF for volunteering the building.

“We don’t get a lot of opportunities to do realistic training like this,” Eggen said. “This presents more training challenge.”

GFFR May 17 2023 5

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He said they were simulating fires on the second and third floors of the apartment building with multiple victims needing to be rescued.

The exercise allows them training on the aerial truck, ladder, searches, forcible entry and more, he said.

Eggen said the Malmstrom Fire Department was also training with them this week.

Eggen said they were using smoke machines to simulate fire, a dummy that simulated an unconscious victim needing to be rescued by ground ladder and a firefighters on light duty was playing a conscious victim on the third floor that they rescued using the ladder truck.

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GFFR rotates quarterly training among the multi-family residential, single-family residential, commercial and high rise responses.

GFFR May 17 2023

The department is always looking for buildings around town to use rather than the training facility, which gets repetitive and the tower is currently condemned and unusable, officials said.

They used the Natatorium last quarter for commercial building training and Cambridge Court for high rise training, Eggen said.

He said it would “really neat” if anyone with a vacant building offered it to GFFR for training.