Collier Foods, Inc raised $40,000
A new Sevier County Emergency Services training facility is in the planning stages for the Parlin Street area in Pigeon Forge. According to Greg Patterson, the Pigeon Forge Fire Chief, the facility, which will be constructed in phases, as the funds become available, will aid in training not just the Sevier County Fire Departments, but the police SWAT teams, ambulance drivers, and gas line workers as well.
The Sevier County Chiefs’ Association is working on the project. One great source of funding has been the Collier Foods, Inc. According to Patterson, the business raised $40,000 last year for the training facility and is planning to raise additional funds this year.
The Sevier County Chiefs’ Association will also apply for grants for the facilities.
First, the land will be escalated, graveled and fenced. Presently, there is a house on the property that the firefighters plan to remodel in their spare time to save money. They will use the rooms for temporary classrooms. Eventually the plan is to build a large building for classrooms and have storage for special equipment.
As the facility progresses, there will be a “flashover simulator”, a fire tower and a driving range (used to train emergency workers how to drive).
The Sevier County Utilities District is also planning to give their gas line employees experience on gas lines that are in the plans to at the new facility.
Patterson said that the facility would save Sevier County taxpayers a significant amount of money because now firefighters must take time off from work to go to continuing education classes in other areas where they must also pay for lodging.