Thank you for your interest in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s (FCFRD) Acquired Structures Program. The program actively seeks out buildings to use for FCFRD training as it provides a valuable hands-on experience for all members of our agency. This program would not be possible without the homeowners, property owners, and business owners within our community.
The Acquired Structures Program determines the type of training conducted based upon the building type, construction, and the project timeline. We accept all types of buildings, with a few exceptions. The FCFRD has three paths within the acquired structure pipeline: non-destructive, destructive, and live-fire training. Our training is scalable to fit the building, from simple non-destructive training to more complicated live-fire training evolutions. Most importantly, we are flexible to adapt to the timeline of the project. It is our mission to keep the process as simple as possible for those who wish to donate a building for training.
Destructive training allows FCFRD personnel the chance to realistically practice skills, such as fire attack methods (hose stretches and fire attack techniques), ventilation methods (cutting holes in the roof), forcible entry (forcibly opening doors, cutting security bars off windows, etc.), search and rescue, ladder throws, firefighter survival techniques, and occasionally live-fire training. Although a building may be used for training fires, the intent is not to “burn the structure down.” Our live-fire program utilizes single-family and multi-family dwellings to set controlled fires that help educate our members in a way that is unachievable elsewhere. These controlled ignitions are aimed at helping firefighters stay safe through education while more effectively protecting people and property. All live fire training within acquired structures is done with accordance to NFPA 1403.
An Acquired Structures Program team member will be assigned to guide you through the process. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. Once the process is started, it usually takes a few days to complete all the required paperwork. After the paperwork is complete your FCFRD Acquired Structure Program representative will conduct a site visit. In many cases, we can mobilize units to train at the site within 24 hours after a site visit.
Requirements for participation in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Acquired Structures Program include:
• The structure/ property must be within the borders of Fairfax County
• A demolition permit must be issued (Destructive and Non-Live Fire Training are both considered a form of demolition)
• All utilities must be disconnected
• An asbestos report is required
• Proof of ownership and owners release (FRD Forms FRD-277 and FRD-278)
• Letters are exchanged authorizing fire department use of the building, and our responsibilities to the property owner
Our Acquired Structure Program Team members will work with you to determine the best days to train on the structure while minimizing the impact to neighbors, community members, and local businesses. Ideally, we like to have a building donated for training over several days. We recognize that some sites and timelines allow for a longer training cycle while others do not.
If you have any questions, or are interested in donating a structure, contact the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Acquired Structures Program Coordinator by filling out the form below or via telephone at (703) 631-8121