This innovative project was one of the first times a customer asked Hurckman Mechanical to create a system designed to start a fire.
The FVTC Public Safety Training Center features 75 acres of simulation technology that integrates tactical learning for law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and more in one setting. The facility combines classroom instruction with real world training including
- A six-story burn tower,
- “River City” a simulated village with motel, homes, retail to provide multi-jurisdictional training simulation,
- A fire engine & fire equipment indoor training bay with room to extend ladders,
- Two indoor firing ranges including a range for sniper training,
- Outdoor burn pods for firefighter training,
- A Boeing 727 aircraft dedicated to training on crisis related scenarios.
Hurckman’s responsibility was to provide HVAC , fabrication and installation for the new building as well as the outdoor simulations that were anything but routine.
According to Hurckman crews, it was the first (and likely only) time they were challenged with supplying HVAC to such unusual locations.
Two areas of the training simulations required repeated burning. Crews ran air lines to railroad cars to simulate explosions and crashes. Piping was used to pump air into rail cars so training teams could check for leaks. Crews also ran underground piping for natural gas and compressed propane to a series of burn pods. Training exercises simulate vehicle fires and rescues. In order to meet the usage volume AND so the college could track fuel consumption, crews added two 2,000 gallon propane and LP tanks.
The training area includes a Boeing 727 aircraft designed to train teams on crisis situations and rescue. The simulation area was designed to hold multiple people with a variety of weapons and needed to be equipped with heating and cooling. Hurckman crews adapted common duct work in order to make it fit within the confines of a jet airplane’s fuselage.
Sophisticated air handling was needed for the facility’s indoor shooting ranges. The college constructed a 100-yard indoor firing range and a 300-yard indoor sniper range. During training, thousands of rounds of live ammunition are discharged—all of which give off toxic gases that have to be 100% exhausted out of the environment. Additionally, the heat from the discharged rounds was reclaimed to re-heat incoming fresh air. Hurckman teams recommended and installed Annexaire Energy recovery units, each of the two units weighed 17,000 pounds and more than handled the air in the hot, smoky ranges.
In the fire apparatus training area, the college needed to manage the exhaust from operating fire trucks during training sessions. Hurckman recommended an exhaust system on trolleys: while the vehicle is running, exhaust is vented though the roof via hoses attached to the exhaust pipes with large magnets. As the trucks are driven outside of the bays, the magnet disengages and the hoses wind back up. The challenge was in the height of the building. The ceilings accommodated the trucks’ extension ladders, but also required Hurckman crews to install 2,000 feet of unistrut support to hold the exhaust system.
Adapting common HVAC ductwork and controls to unusual applications was a challenge for the Hurckman teams and required re-thinking common processes. The project was on a tight time frame and the scheduling challenged crews. Additionally, the size of the jobsite was massive and required additional process & materials planning.
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