High Rise Training!


For Immediate Release:

Wauwatosa, WI: Tomorrow, fire department personnel from all Milwaukee County fire departments, as well as the 128th Air National Guard fire department will begin participating in daily training sessions aimed at standardizing responses to fires in high rise buildings across the area. This training is a culmination of nearly two years of policy development, equipment standardization and planning meetings; including table-top exercises.

Thanks to Mayfair Regional Shopping Center in Wauwatosa, crews will have a chance to train together in an eleven story structure on Mayfair's property. All participating agencies are extremely grateful for the opportunity to train on such a large scale in realistic conditions; as these opportunities are extremely rare for fire departments across the country.

Responding to a reported fire in a high rise structure poses some unique challenges to firefighters. First and foremost, getting the necessary equipment up to the floor in which the fire is occurring can be an exhaustive and labor intensive task, requiring significant coordination amongst various fire companies. Given the resources needed to address the many facets of the response, a working fire in a high rise structure anywhere in Milwaukee County is likely to draw on resources from several neighboring fire departments. For this reason, it is imperative that crews from departments across the area be trained to implement tactics in a consistent manner.

Each Monday through Thursday throughout April, fire crews from a mix of departments across the county will come to Wauwatosa to participate in a three-hour training evolution; with one evolution running in the morning and another in the afternoon. These evolutions will consist of setting up the initial command structure, to deploying crews for reconnaissance, search and rescue, equipment movement, and fire attack. Depending on the floor of the fire, crews may set up equipment and personnel staging points on levels within the structure. "It is really important that the entire response be as coordinated as possible, and we are excited to have this opportunity to continue to work together with our neighbors in such a large and realistic training setting", said North Shore Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Andrew Harris.

Members of the media are invited to join fire personnel as part of "Media Day" at the training grounds on April 27 at 9 am. Video and audio opportunities will be available throughout the training sessions. Additionally, all participating departments will hold a joint press conference on the training grounds at 10 am, during the morning training evolution. Members of the media wishing to attend should contact Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski – Milwaukee Fire Department at 414-406-4192 by April 26.

Fire departments participating in the training include: 128th Air National Guard, Cudahy, City of Milwaukee, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee County Airport, North Shore, Oak Creek, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, West Allis, and Wauwatosa.