Trending Topics

Calif. council unanimously approves new firefighter training center

Live Oak officials approved purchasing the Dräger system to keep firefighters from having to leave their response area for training


The City of Live Oak approved the construction of a new Dräger firefighting training center.

City of Live Oak

By Robert Summa

LIVE OAK, Calif. — Last week, the Live Oak City Council unanimously approved a new training center for firefighters that will allow first responders to conduct training locally without being pulled away from their respective coverage area.

Located on 9633 N St. next to the city’s “Corporation Yard,” Sutter County Fire Battalion Chief Richard Epperson said training has previously been held in cramped quarters at the current station in Live Oak and in other locations.

“This is a well-needed thing for our community,” Epperson said. "... We’re kind of limited on space. For many, many years we’ve got to use the empty lots that were undeveloped at the KB Homes and also at the Garden Glen. Recently since they built up on all these projects, our space is very limited with that too.”

Along with firefighter training at the new facility, which will be “smack dab in the middle of town,” Epperson said the department also will be able to host other activities, such as citizen academy training. He said the new Drager training center was “modified for the city of Live Oak .”

According to the city, “Drager Fire Training Systems offer a comprehensive unique training program.” These systems are “container-based Class A burn structures” that provide “real-world fire conditions and scenarios.”

The container chosen for Live Oak is a “two-story cargo box construction that meets NFPA 1402 guidelines and CAL OSHA requirements,” the city said. It is expected to be utilized for training for the “next two to three generations of firefighters” in the community.

Epperson said training centers such as the one approved last week allow firefighters to “see fire behavior as it’s happening.” He said there shouldn’t be much smoke as a result of training and that no burning will be conducted while school is in session nearby.

A training center in Live Oak was identified as a need so that firefighters do not have to travel to other areas for weekly training. Having a center in the city will allow firefighters to stay within “their first responding area and available for quicker response,” the city said.

The budget for the training center is $390,000. No general fund dollars are expected to be used for the project because of impact fees and Assembly Bill 1600 funds.

The city expected the entire project to be completed in 16-20 weeks. Epperson said should additional funds be made available in the future, the training center could be expanded.

[RELATED: How to Fund & Run Effective Hands-On Training]

The city council also unanimously approved an order for the purchase of a new Pierce Type 1 Fire Engine last week. With a total cost that is a little under $1 million, the new equipment will replace the city’s E5 Fire Engine, which is seven years old and is expected to be paid off this year, according to the city.

Due to a “backlog of orders” and the demand for fire-related vehicles, the city said there is “roughly a four-year delivery timeline on new orders for fire engines.” But with making the purchase now, the city hopes to “minimize” costs and secure a “timely” delivery.

(c)2024 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.)
Visit the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.) at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.