LAYTON -- Responding to the scene of a house fire, emergency workers need to be prepared for any situation. They may need to get on top of the structure to cut a hole in the roof or conduct a rescue by rappelling down the side of it.
Almost any scenario the Layton Fire Department can dream up, firefighters can now train for at their new facility.
Having a proper training site at Layton Fire's disposable is priceless, said Battalion Chief Jared Sholly.
The fire department held a "hose-cutting" for the newly constructed site Tuesday morning and conducted a public demonstration of what the facility will be used for.
The facility is at 1890 N. Fort Lane, across from the Layton Public Works building.
A section of the roof is used for training workers on how to get the ladder on the roof, and how to use a specialized chain saw to cut a hole in the roof for ventilation.
Another demonstration had firefighters making a quick escape in the event of conditions becoming unbearable.
"It's really up to our imagination," Sholly said. "We can practice basic safety and also advanced skills."
He said there are so many scenarios to train for that there's no way to explain them all.
The building was designed to be multipurpose for that reason. It's constructed to simulate the structure of a multilevel house, a hotel, apartment building or business, he said. There are multiple staircases for each situation.
There are two burn rooms in the facility that are completely fire-retardant and allow crews to train with real flames. The rooms can withstand temperatures of 10,000 degrees and can be monitored and controlled by trainers.
The facility was built by WHP Training Towers and customized by Sholly and Fire Chief Kevin Ward.
Before the facility, Layton firefighters had to conduct training exercises at various locations when it was convenient, as Davis County did not have a designated training site. Sometimes they had access to Hill Air Force Base's training facilities, but the complications of going on and off base took away from maximizing response time.
At all other times, they were limited to abandoned buildings.
Last year Layton City Council allocated more than $1 million to the building of the facility, which the Fire Department said would be invaluable to not just the city, but the surrounding areas.
Sholly said several other departments are interested in using the facility, and not just fire departments. SWAT teams can use the building as well to conduct assault simulations.
The building can even be used to help solve current cases. Investigators can re-enact fires to test burn times and other situations.
And while current firefighters require training two times a month, new recruits can expect to come see the facility as a classroom.
Davis Applied Technology College, which trains firefighters and EMTs, will make use of the site, Sholly said. The Utah Fire and Rescue Academy also has expressed interest in using the building.
Chief Ward said the training site will make firefighters quicker and more efficient while minimizing the chances for accidents. He alluded to the recent firefighter deaths in Arizona and Layton firefighter Kendall Bryant who died in 2000 and is the last to die in a fire in Utah.
"It really shows how dangerous a profession this is. We're training everyday for Kendall," Ward said. "Our motto is 'everyone goes home.'"