City of Boise Fire Training Facility
In association with Rice Fergus Miller
At full build-out, this 17-acre campus will be the most comprehensive all-hazards training center in the state of Idaho.
The design approach centered around training objectives. The intricacies of training evolutions were assessed to better replicate scenarios for teaching required skills. A community risk assessment that identified natural and man-made disasters added to the objectives list. Recent response data were analyzed to further refine these objectives.
The Boise Fire Department didn’t want to build a concrete structure for setting on fire in the middle of an expansive parking lot. A common practice for decades, that model wouldn’t match the risks and dangers that the department’s firefighters are expected to face. Thought went into intervening roads, cul-de-sacs, obstacles and intervening spaces to make training evolutions more realistic and challenging.
Roadways that are within this training campus are more than a route to a prop. They are integral to driver training, staging, incident command and fire scene management. Inexpensive pavement markings add more realism.
An adjacent water body that’s naturally filled with groundwater and runoff will provide many benefits as a source of water for future swiftwater prop and water rescue and as an area for recycling training water.
Many residences overlook this campus from the above bluff. How would their views be affected? The height of the commercial tower and placement of the support structures were designed carefully to ensure that the neighbors’ view of the horizon and distant hills wouldn’t be compromised. Exterior building materials and colors were selected thoughtfully. Pitched roofs were selected to satisfy both training objectives and residents’ aesthetic preferences. These choices, together with proactive community outreach, made certain that the city had happy neighbors on ribbon-cutting day.
City of Boise Public Works Department
2020 Station Design Award – Training Facilities Silver, Firehouse Magazine