New Fire Training Pad

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Fire Training Pad at Tri-County Community College

Jim Palmer, a form carpenter with Raxter’s Concrete Finishing out of Andrews, pulls a form pin from around the newly-poured concrete burn pad for the Tri-County Community College Fire / Rescue Training Program.

The first stage of work has been completed on a new concrete fire training pad for Tri-County Community College’s Fire / Rescue Training Program. The pad will be used as a platform upon which a variety of vehicles will be placed to train rescue personnel in the procedures for proper extrication of occupants involved in a vehicle incident.

In a simulated accident, the cement cylinder seen in the photo will be used to represent a tree or bridge abutment, that can make the removal of victims more difficult.

Although called a burn pad, the concrete surface will not be used for much actual burning. Instead, Liquid Propane gas pipes will be run to the wide swath of gravel that will surround the pad so that real fires can be set for training purposes without doing damage to the pad.

“Intense heat from a fire, followed by quick cooling from water hoses, can spall concrete fairly quickly,” said Bobby Barton, coordinator of Fire and Rescue Training at the College.

“The LP lines running under the gravel will have instant shut-off switches so an instructor can cut the fire off at any time,” added Barton. “We want as much realism as we can get, but safety is always our first priority.”

Barton hopes to have the gas lines run, and the pad operational, before the 2015 Fall Semester.

For more information contact Bobby Barton at 828-837-4251 or