Ground was broken Friday for the Boise Fire Department's training facility.
With the ability to do live fire training on a regular basis, Fire Chief Dennis Doan said new and seasoned firefighters will be even more prepared for a wide range of different scenarios including a hotel lobby and rooms, warehouse and retail space, private offices and cubicles, balconies and an apartment layout. There are also plans for technical rescue team training opportunities and to provide space for classrooms and office space for captains in training.
Boise fire employees will also train alongside Eagle and Meridian firefighters, as well as firefighters from other area agencies.
The five-story tower is made possible thanks to voter approval of a public safety bond in 2014. It's going up next to the Boise Watershed.
"We have one of the greatest fire departments in the West but this is going to be a game changer in that they can come down and do live fire training on a constant basis," Boise Fire Chief Doan said. "Right now, we have to wait for a facility, or a house or a building to be donated. Sometimes recruits hit the line without any live fire training."
Construction is estimated to take 14 months to complete.
Other phases planned for later on down the road include training areas for HAZMAT and dive and rescue operations.