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Arlington Opens State-of-the-Art Fire Training Facility

Public open house set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Arlington Opens State-of-the-Art Fire Training Facility
Arlington County has completed construction and opened a new tactical training facility for the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) at 2800 S. Taylor St.

Part of the county’s Fire Training Academy, the $4.9 million project features a seven-story tower, sprinkler room and smoke generator to create realistic, and challenging training exercises. The in-county facility also provides savings in time, money and emissions previously spent sending fire fighters and recruits to other jurisdictions for critical training.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority,” said Barbara M. Donnellan, Arlington county manager. “The new tactical facility provides our first responders with the most up-to-date training possible to help keep our fire fighters and community safe.”

Many of Arlington’s new buildings are often high-rises, which require specialized fire-fighting training. Now, with the new facility, ACFD will be able to engage in more realistic training scenarios specifically tailored to the county’s needs.

Public Open House

The public is invited to the open house, Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., to tour the new facility and view live demonstrations. Some parking is available at the Fire Training Academy, 2800 S. Taylor St.; additional parking is available on the top level of the parking garage across the street at 2881 S. Taylor St. The new facility is not normally open to the public.

The new facility provides Arlington County with significant advancements, most notably the combination seven-story Fire Training Tower and Class-A Live Burn Building with Confined Spaces training area. The multi-level building offers a variety of structural designs to simulate commercial, residential, basement, mid-rise and high-rise operations. The Academy’s training capabilities now include:

  • Live, controlled fire training
  • Night operations
  • Artificial smoke 
  • Realistic rescue scenarios
  • Realistic stair and floor configurations

During live-burn exercises at the new facility, training staff burn materials comparable to what is burned in home fireplaces -- wooden pallets and straw – in accordance to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards. 

In addition to traditional fire fighter training, the new facility offers learning opportunities for other local and regional first responders including technical rescue, hazardous materials and bomb team exercises. Additionally, the new facility features a water filtration system that will treat all water used from the training exercises before it enters Four Mile Run.  >>Read a fact sheet about the new Fire Training Academy facility.

Construction of the tactical training facility $4.9 million, and was financed by the General Fund. Keller Brothers, Inc. was the general contractor for the project.


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