WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa -- West Burlington's fire department is working on a training facility for attacking fires -- the first of its kind in Southeast Iowa.
"This has been a dream of mine since I was a battalion chief seven years ago," says Chief Shaun Ryan.
The facility includes three shipping containers, creating a mock house. The facility features burn rooms to practice fighting fires. There is a second story in this mock house, along with movable walls to practice with different floor plans.
"That's the whole purpose in this, to provide training for firefighters, not just in our department but the southeast Iowa area," Ryan says.
The facility will allow the department and others in the area to practice fighting fires regularly. Ryan says the department can normally only practice at similar facilities twice a year. This new project will allow the department to practice twice a month.
"This is something I want to provide my guys," Ryan says. "So they can work to improve their skills and be the best they can be, because in the end, I want them to go home safe at night."
The project was approved by city council earlier this year, and crews started work on the facility in August 2019. The department plans to wrap this project up in Spring 2020.