November 4, 2019 - Today, Fort Wayne Fire Department recruits were the first class to experience hands-on training in the Department’s new live fire training center, located at 2700 Dwenger Avenue.

Over the past 2 ½ years, the FWFD has invested over $150,000 to improve hands-on training capability at the Dwenger Avenue training facility. The initial infrastructure improvements were offset by a $60,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and this most recent phase was finished in late October.

The multistory modular burn center allows instructors to provide a safe and controlled live fire environment that simulates the firefighting experience for not only the recruit class but incumbent firefighters. Multiple fires can be set and extinguished in the entirely steel structure repetitively during training sessions. These repetitive exercises help firefighters develop what is called “muscle memory,” so that they will begin to instinctively perform procedural tasks in high stress situations.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department’s live fire training center is built from decommissioned steel shipping containers to keep costs low. Using shipping containers also allows for diverse future expansions. Plans for the future include adding multiple structures to the building in order to simulate various situations such as a fire in a strip mall, a garage or a cul-de-sac.