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Has anyone built a training structure using shipping containers?

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  • Has anyone built a training structure using shipping containers?

    Hey Guys,

    We want make a training facility out of shipping containers and would like to to have a few forcible entry doors, a roof cutting prop, and movable walls/obstacles so we can configure it differently.

    Has anyone done/seen anything similar to this? What other features do you like? If you have done it, what, approximately, did it cost you? How much did it cost? Do you have any tips?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by outofstep; 02-27-2006, 02:58 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by outofstep
    Hey Guys,

    My vollie house has three 20' x 8' shipping containers laying around that they're looking at selling, but there are a few of us who want to make them into a training structure of some kind.

    I'm leaning towards connecting all three side by side and making them into an apartment type layout. We want to have a few forcible entry doors, a roof cutting prop, and movable walls/obstacles so we can configure it differently.

    Has anyone done/seen anything similar to this? What other features do you like? If you have done it, what, approximately, did it cost you? How much did it cost? Do you have any tips?

    Thanks.
    This is just me, but I would place two side x side, and the third on top of those as a second story, a fourth could be added in the future. Properly done it could make a fantastic training building. I think your best tools for construction are going to be a MIG welder and a plasma cutter. With the proper insulation/ventilation, you could even do live burns. A roof simulator could go on top of the stacked container, as well as rappelling gear to teach self rescue. As long as everything is structurally sound, and reinforced correctly you should have no issue in doing just about anything you want with them. This is a great opportunity. You may have to build it up in stages, but it will allow you to practice many things. Another plus is that, if you drill repeatedly in how you get off the apparatus, and setting everything up for your attack, it will become automatic, just plug in the variables to your working incident and go. Take advatage of it, it will prove useful.
    FF/NREMT-B

    FTM-PTB!!

    Brass does not equal brains.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to control it.

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    • #3
      We have an intermodal box that we built an SCBA maze inside of. The maze has 3 levels and is horseshoe shaped...this leaves an aisle down the middle for an instructor or observor. We used fencing hardware and 2X4's to create the posts and main beams for each level. We then added wires, low profile obstacles, stud walls, 2 stair cases, and other challenges in there. I'm not sure what the total lumber price was, but I could probably find out. We did all the work ourselves.

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      • #4
        We use four containers at our live fire training facility. Two large ones as the base with two smaller ones stacked on top. We cut windows and doorsways in both, there is both internal and external stairways. We intend to add more containers in the future. While not as nice as concrete burn building, they as a cheap alternative until we can afford to build a concrete burn building.
        "My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.

        Tender 9 - old, slow, ugly, cantankerous, reliable!

        All empires fall, you just have to know where to push

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        • #5
          This is a local training facility that I toured while gathering information for a presentation I was doing. It was an awesome set-up and the TO was very helpful in answering my questions.

          http://www.otterpointfire.bc.ca/oper...facility.shtml
          To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

          IACOJ-WOT proud

          GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

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          • #6
            Just out of curiosity, how safe would it be doing live burns in one of these things. Especially with another one sitting on top. What's the risk of the metal weaking due to the heat (especially repeated use) and then the whole thing coming down on the guys inside?
            Fir Na Tine
            Fir Na Au Saol

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            • #7
              containers

              The Florida State Fire College have a live burn unit made from containers. They have studied several plans and incorporated some of each. It looks good to me. Give them a call or mail them, they will be happy to help you with plans.
              Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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              • #8
                I'd have to look at my notes again (and I'm not too sure where they are) but there is only one container that Otter Point uses for live burn training and it is lined with a heat resistant lining (the name of it escapes me which is why I need my notes). They have it set up for smoke simulators which according to their site they are in the process of setting up. This is how the other areas will be utilized, among other drills.
                To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

                IACOJ-WOT proud

                GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

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                • #9
                  It all depends on what your objectives are. With 3 x 20' containers you could build yourself a nice system for teaching fire behavior whilst practising nozzle and firefighting techniques. You could train in flashover control; backdraft recognition; compartment door entry procedures; crew attack procedures; venting effects on fire behavior; etc or ....

                  You could just build a unit/system with a crib and learn next to nothing!

                  HERE ARE SOME TRAINING IDEAS
                  Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kayakking
                    We have an intermodal box that we built an SCBA maze inside of. The maze has 3 levels and is horseshoe shaped...this leaves an aisle down the middle for an instructor or observor. We used fencing hardware and 2X4's to create the posts and main beams for each level. We then added wires, low profile obstacles, stud walls, 2 stair cases, and other challenges in there. I'm not sure what the total lumber price was, but I could probably find out. We did all the work ourselves.
                    You got any pictures or design sketches? We just got approved to build a training facility(no live fire... YET) on a piece of township property and I have a couple of these boxes to work with. I have a rough idea of how we are going to setup a mask confidence course in one of them, but I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel and also see if there is anything I am missing or way that could be better then the drawing in my head.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FFTrainer
                      You got any pictures or design sketches? We just got approved to build a training facility(no live fire... YET) on a piece of township property and I have a couple of these boxes to work with. I have a rough idea of how we are going to setup a mask confidence course in one of them, but I would prefer not to reinvent the wheel and also see if there is anything I am missing or way that could be better then the drawing in my head.
                      I haven't taken any pictures of it, but it wouldn't be a problem to do so...give me a day or two and I'll see what I can come up with. I'll either post them here or I'll get your email and send them.

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                      • #12
                        Hey Guys, thanks for all the responses so far.

                        Since we're a somewhat busy truck company in an urban area, things like forcible entry, VES, laddering, ventilation and FAST team evolutions are our main concerns. This is especially true considering that the county academy has a flashover/backdraft simulator with all the burn buildings you could want and the neighboring town has give us use of their mobile burn trailer. We have already setup a mask confidence course in our basement, so that's out too. We also don't think the neighbors would go for a live burn center in the neighborhood.

                        We have a big space heater and a good smoke smoke machine that we thought would give the feel of 0 visibility and heat. I feel like there is a reason this is a bad idea, but can't think of any real reason - anyone got one for me?

                        With that said, are there any other props/obstacles you have seen that are tailored toward truck work. We have two steel doors that we are going to reinforce and use as forcible entry doors, a flat roof simulator for cuts and right now, that's about it. Can anyone think of other truck oriented obstacles/props that would be useful?

                        Thanks again.

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                        • #13
                          Here are some pics of our SCBA maze.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            ...and a few more.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              ...and still a few more. Hope this helps FFtrainer. Holler if you need measurements or anything.
                              Attached Files

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