If you see smoke and fire engines in downtown Geneva this coming weekend, don’t panic. It’s almost certainly a rare training exercise at a new development site.
The Geneva Fire Department will be participating in live fire training Friday, Dec. 14, to Sunday, Dec. 16, at 17-19 Richards St. — the future site of the Hamilton Place mixed-use residential and commercial development.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Hamilton Place development team, the wood frame single-family home on the property has been made available for this valuable training opportunity. The exercises will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The site is being prepared and rendered safe for the live fire training. During the three-day period, the Fire Department will conduct 15 to 20 training fire evolutions to hone their interior and exterior firefighting skills. These skills include interior attack, vertical and horizontal ventilation, civilian and firefighter rescue as well as command-level exercises.
Live training exercises, such as this, are extraordinarily important for Geneva firefighters to develop and maintain their skill sets.
Residents and businesses near the training site can expect minimal disruption to their normal activities. For the majority of the training period, all fire vehicles and equipment will be located on the site, and minimal smoke will be generated.
On Dec. 16, the home will be used to practice defensive firefighting techniques that will result in the residence being burned down to the ground during a one-hour span in the mid to late afternoon. The burn down will generate smoke and flames proportionate to a structure fire.
The Fire Department will notify surrounding property owners of the live training this week.
Lakeshore Recycling Systems, the city’s waste hauler, also has partnered in this project by providing discounted dumpsters to the Hamilton Place developers for debris disposal associated with the training activities.
Questions about the firefighter training should be directed to Geneva Fire Chief Mike Antenore at 630-232-2530. For more information about Hamilton Place, visit the city’s interactive development projects map.