BLACK FOREST — Real smoke, heat and flames are taking fire-fighting to an improved level in the Pikes Peak Region. A new fire training burn center just went on-line this week in Black Forest. "It does bring that realistic factor up that much more," said Black Forest Fire Department, Training Captain, Chris Piepenburg.
The newly completed burn center is a group of shipping containers connected like the rooms and levels of a building. Because it is made of steel fires can repeatedly be started inside to simulate structure fires. Firefighters practice work in a hot, smoke filled and dark space. "Then when they get out to the real calls they can deal with the unknowns and they don't have to deal with what should have been already known,” said Black Forest Fire Department, Chief PJ Langmaid.
The new center is located at the Black Forest Fire Department Headquarters. “We intentionally did not name it the Black Forest Fire Training Center,“ said Chief Langmaid. The intent is collaboration with other Fire Departments in the region. “The actual title here is the Palmer Ridge Regional Training Center. It is because it's for any fire department in the region to come and train."