Redevelopment and upgrading

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Existing (training) objects at training sites can be a great starting point from which to start something new. Costs saved by using an existing object can be used for developing more scenarios on the new training object. On location, the creative possibilities can be examined together with SAPHIRE-CTC.

Redevelopment existing objects

There are various ways how an existing (training) object can be used for new scenarios. Existing objects often offer possibilities that in any other situation would not have been feasible.

A good example of the repurposing of existing buildings can be found at the Training Base Weeze. The old Royal Air Force Base has a diversity of buildings, which have been converted into unique training objects. The “Shelter” project consists of an old bunker, in which a fighter jet was stored. The original construction consisted of a canopy about 20 metres wide and 7.5 metres high, with a structure built to withstand bombing. Building a similar structure would make a new training object difficult to achieve. The bunker was eventually transformed by additional additions into a room where garage and tunnel fire scenarios could be trained. Several containers were placed on a side wing of the bunker, raising it 4 metres above ground level. The “free” extra height was a nice saving, which could be invested in another part. The use of the bunker ultimately resulted in a unique object, which probably would not have been realised without the existing base.

Upgrading existing objects

Exploring of a training object is a very important part of many scenarios. In reality firefighters enter most buildings on fire for the first time in their lives. When a firefighter trains time and time again on the same object, the training will lose its value because of foreknowledge.

At the training centre of the South Limburg Fire Brigade, there is a training building that has been in use for years. To make new scenarios possible, the decision was made to upgrade the existing building. The upgrade also had to consider the nuisance of wood smoke for the immediate surroundings. The live firebuilding was converted from a wood-fired to a gas-fired building. At various places, connections have been made for mobile gas-fired objects, so that there is a greater variety of fireplaces. A few points in the rooms have been adapted by placing new walls and doors. For the demonstrations and exercises with wood smoke, a new container set-up has been placed, equipped with smoke treatment system. The set-up has been approved according to the current laws and regulations. The adjustments make the training centre suitable for the coming years.