Evansville Firefighters Use 420 Main Building for Realistic High-Rise Training

Firefighters in Evansville got a rare high-rise training opportunity on Monday in the 18-story 420 Main St. building in the city's downtown.

Posted: Jul 27, 2021 8:38 AM
Updated: Jul 27, 2021 8:49 AM

Firefighters with the Evansville Fire Department utilized the 420 Main St. building in downtown Evansville on Monday to simulate a realistic high-rise fire scenario.

The training included real-time simulations of high-rise fire scenarios, requiring the firefighters to navigate smoke-filled hallways, locate and "extinguish" simulated flames, and rescue victims, all while inside the 18-story structure.

Silhouette of an EFD Firefighter training in the 420 Main building Monday

"The layout wasn't what we expected. We're used to dealing with a lot of residential houses, so when you get into these commercial buildings, it's a lot more open spaces," EFD Captain Eric Gentry explained. "There's a lot more debris in the field like desks, chairs that we had to move around that we're not used to - so it was good training evolution on that side of it."

Along with the 420 Main building, the adjacent Sycamore building, a six-story structure, was used for training on Monday. EFD expects both structures will be used for training sessions through Aug. 2.

In all, some 250 EFD Firefighters from all three Platoons got the chance to take part in the special training.

The 420 Main St. building is set to be demolished sometime later in the year.

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The combination of sunshine and southerly winds will make for another abnormally mild day throughout the Ohio Valley - expect an afternoon high temperature near 69° this afternoon. Friday evening looks as though it will be just as pleasant; after seeing the upper 60s earlier in the day, we'll dip to 60° by 5 PM before falling towards 54° around 7 o’clock. We are however, watching a passing low pressure system and accompanying cold front that is expected to pass through the Tri-State late Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
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