Visiting Cherokee County's $5 Million Training Center

Integrated Fire Protection Manager, Taylor Carlock and Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Integrated Fire Protection has been partnering with Georgia Arson Control and Georgia Underwriting to provide breakfast for First Responders throughout the state of Georgia. This initiative has not only allowed us to give back to First Responders, it has also given us a unique opportunity to peek inside many different facilities and programs all over the state. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for us, and we look forward to continuing these presentations throughout the month of February.

On January 29th, several representatives from Integrated Fire Protection had the pleasure of providing breakfast to the Cherokee County Firefighters. To our surprise and delight, State Fire Marshal, Dwayne Garriss, was in attendance. We enjoyed meeting him and listening to his impassioned words of encouragement to the First Responders of Cherokee County. After breakfast, Division Chief Field Operations, Greg Erdely, volunteered

State Fire Marshal, Dwayne Garriss, and Investigator, S. Daniel

to take us on a tour of Cherokee County’s new $5 million state-of-the-art training center. We could not say “YES” fast enough!

As we approached the training center, we initially saw two buildings that Erdely told us had been meticulously designed to mimic the interior of different homes and businesses within Cherokee County. One building had smoke billowing from the windows, and we watched as Firefighters were actively training in the smoke-filled structure. “When you are in a building that is on fire, you can’t see your hand even when it’s right in front of your face,” Erdely explained, “We use this building to prepare Firefighters for situations with zero visibility.”

Cherokee buildingThe other building, which was clean and free from smoke stains, was available for us to explore. As we entered, we immediately started to notice the different training scenarios presented to Firefighters throughout the interior design. Inside the three story building were manholes, climbing walls, different shaped windows, and doors that could be kicked down. Additionally, there were different types and sizes of stairs reaching to the top of the building, meant to prepare Firefighters for any staircases they might come across in the field.

After we had finished exploring that portion of the property, Erdely took us to the largest building on the trainingcampus. This building included a large firetruck garage, a gym, a fully functioning medical room, a Cherokee FF PNGkitchen, and more. Spread across the hallway walls were pictures and other memorabilia honoring past and fallen Firefighters from Cherokee County. You could sense the pride in Erdely’s voice as he described the type of men and women who spend time in the facility, pointing out their graduation class pictures one by one.

Firefighters train at this facility five days a week, and on weekends if they choose. Families often come picnic and fish next to an on-site pond which supplies all the water to the facility for training and other utilities. Overall, there is high-morale and a spirit of positivity throughout the training center, as Firefighters feel well provided for and no longer need to travel to other centers to train.

Integrated Fire Protection Manager, Taylor Carlock, and Cherokee County Division Chief Field Operations, Greg Erdely

Integrated Fire Protection is passionate about preventing the dangerous fires that the men and women of the Cherokee County Fire Department train for every day. We take our work seriously because the systems and devices we work with greatly impact the success and safety of Firefighters and occupants, in the event of a fire. The gratitude and sincere respect we have for our First Responders cannot be overstated as we rely on them to be present and risk their lives for the safety of our communities. That being said, Thank You Cherokee County First Responders, and Congratulations on your fantastic new training facility!