Waveland Firefighters to get new training facility

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Work is underway on a new training facility for the Waveland Fire Department.

It will replace the department lost during hurricane Katrina.

The training ground is being built behind the Central Fire Station on Highway 90.

When finished, it will not only benefit firefighters, but it will also benefit Waveland residents financially.

A large backhoe works to dig a deep hole.

It will eventually become a water drafting pit.

It will train Waveland firefighters how to pump water when there are no fire hydrants around.

"As everyone knows after hurricane Katrina the hydrants were inoperable so therefore you have to adapt to what you have. You can draft from a canal or bayou. This drafting is going to give our guys a better know how to accomplish that task." said Assistant Chief Tony Mallini of the Waveland Fire Department.

Not far from the pit, another training device will be built.

Mallini said, "Our confined space simulator will help add in recovery or rescue of someone say trapped in a man hole or below ground."

The fire station itself will be used for training purposes.

The 50 foot tall look-out tower will be used for repelling exercises.

"To accommodate rope rescue classes that we can out source to the fire academy they come to a field delivery class and we don't have to send our firemen up there," explained Mallini.

Waveland firefighters have been without a training facility for more than 7 years.

Mallini said, "No call is the same, so you have to learn to adapt to whatever is thrown at you."

Having a training ground is one of the requirements of the State Fire Rating Bureau, in keeping a low city fire rating.

"With this training ground that we're getting to help us maintain our class five..it will also benefit the citizens of the community because it will keep your insurance rates low. This is going to be a great asset to our community. It's going to be a great asset to our fire department. Once it's finished, it will be top of the line and hopefully it will be here for years to come," said Mallini.

The first phase of the training ground will cost about two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars. The Mississippi Development Authority, FEMA and insurance proceeds will fund the cost.

The project is expected to be finished in about 4 months.

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