Joint Training Facility

Updated: May 10, 2013

Until the development of the Joint Training Facility, all City departments owned and operated separate training facilities. However, a 2001 study commissioned by the City found that combining the training requirements of the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities in a single facility would be more efficient and economical.

Even more critical were the functional shortcomings of the Fire Department's existing training facilities. The Department had no efficient means of conducting scenario training for residential and commercial fires, high-rise fires, emergencies involving hazardous materials, high-angle rescues and confined space rescues. Training activities took place at Station 14 (SoDo) in facilities that failed to meet the training standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Finally, classes traveled to Washington state's burn facility in North Bend to perform the annual live burn exercises required both by the state and the NFPA.

The Joint Training Facility's secure campus consists of two occupied buildings, an outdoor training pavilion, a variety of training props, storage structures, limited parking and landscaping.

Classroom/Administration Building
The 26,000-square-foot teaching/administration building contains four classrooms, offices and work areas, shower and locker rooms, various support/storage areas and a lunch/multipurpose room. In addition, there is a physical rehabilitation room for workers coming back to work after injury.

Apparatus Building
The 7,200-square-foot high-bay fire apparatus/storage building replicates a non-residential operational fire station to provide training opportunities for SFD recruits.

Training Props

  • The six-story High Drill Tower simulates staging and fire assault in multistory buildings. In addition, the prop can be used for maze training, search-and-rescue, aerial rescue, climbing and rigging, ladder throwing, roof ventilation and rope training.
  • The two-story Burn Building is a specialty prop outfitted with natural-gas (only) "fireplaces" that provide live fire training for recruits.
  • The Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention (EVAP) area is a 112,000-square-foot paved surface for heavy construction equipment and fire apparatus driver training.
  • The overpass prop simulates a highway overpass and includes a bridge section. It is used for driver training, bridge repair training, high angle rope operations, ladder operations and to simulate auto fires or accidents on elevated roadways. The hillside leading up to the overpass contains artificial geology and is used for low angle rope operations.
  • The collapsed building prop provides search-and-rescue and hazard deconstruction opportunities.
  • The trench digging and rescue props provide opportunities to practice using heavy equipment in digging, shoring, trenching, pipe-laying, backfilling and rescue.
  • The confined spaces prop provides a certified course where workers can obtain or renew their certification for confined spaces training.
  • The vehicle extrication and foam area is used to practice training with foam suppressants and removal of victims (dummies) from wrecked cars. This area is designed to capture broken glass and oil residue and route foam residue to the sanitary sewer system.

Budget (Total Project Cost)
Phase I: $26,532,000
Phase II: $7,125,000
Total: $33,657,000

Design Development: 2003-2004
Construction (Phase I): 2004-2006
Occupancy: 2006
Construction (Phase II): 2007