At the Minnesota Chapter of NFSA meeting in May, members approved a motion to provide $6,000 to the Bloomington (MN) Fire Department for the purposes of upgrading the sprinkler system training props located in Fire Station #1. On August 24th, Tom Brace led a delegation to the station to present the check to Bloomington Fire Marshal Laura McCarthy and members of the department.

The Blooming Fire Department’s sprinkler training prop has multiple components: a wet riser, a pre-action system, a dry system, a “burn room” where various sprinkler devices can be used to control small contained fires, and a display of sprinkler devices of various designs and vintages. The training props are used regionally for Firefighter I and Firefighter II certification classes and are used by a variety of fire departments for ongoing firefighter and fire inspector training.

The renovation of the props is being led by Fire Inspector Kris Kaiser, who has been a tireless advocate for the upgrades and has worked with the contractor, JCI Fire Protection, to plan the renovations. Those renovations include: demolition of the existing dry and pre-action systems, refurbishing the existing wet riser, construction of a new dry system display, installation of a new zone fire alarm panel, and installation of a horn/strobe (internal and external) alarms, and a smoke detector.

Kris and Fire Marshal McCarthy are being assisted by a talented group of department members: Fire Inspectors Lance Stangohr, Bobby Wotherspoon, and Pete Miller, and Bloomington Fire Chief Ulysses Seal, who is providing the balance of funds needed to complete the project. Tom Miller is the point of contact for the contractor, JCI Fire Protection. Station personnel will begin demolition on the old system soon, and the upgrades will be carried out by station personnel and JCI Fire Protection members.

Training props like the one in Bloomington are critical to training firefighters and fire inspectors on system components and operation. Properly trained firefighters can more easily understand system operations, leading to faster fire control in sprinkler-protected buildings, as well as decreased water damage and faster restoration of fire protection systems following a building fire.