The Wheeling Fire Department’s training facility is located on Wheeling Island at 729 North Front Street. The original structure was a four-story steel and cement block building that was constructed sometime in the 1930’s. That original facility afforded WFD the opportunity to train and gain skills in the important activities of hose advancement over multiple floors, standpipe operations, ground ladder work, aerial ladder operations, and rescue operations from elevated positions. The site has a large paved lot with access to two fire hydrants allowing for pump operators training and drills for crews operating different types of hose streams.
In 2015, with assistance from West Virginia Public Service Training and the City of Wheeling, WFD made upgrades to the training facility. The addition of three 40-foot intermodal shipping containers allowed WFD to create a more residential type training area with hallways, multiple rooms, and an area where firefighters can perform live fire drills.
A vertical ventilation prop and a forcible entry prop were also added to enhance the training capabilities. The facility is a success because of the countless man hours devoted to its design and construction that were performed by both on duty and off duty personnel in a volunteer capacity. Tying in the old with new was challenging, but the Wheeling Fire Department now has one large cohesive facility.
The facility was designed on an expandable platform allowing the Department to make improvements in the coming years. Creating life-like training is a WFD Training Division goal, as well as keeping firefighters ready to respond to any type of emergency to protect the residents and visitors to the City of Wheeling.