A branch of Prairie Landworks

A first-class industrial fire training site is underway for a local company.


Serving as the design-build contractor to the owner, PLI is transforming this site from agricultural ground into a first-class training site. Work began with surveying and documenting existing utilities which enabled the site planning to begin.

We worked with the company’s fire brigade to define the overall vision of the site, and then kicked off Phase 1 of the project: dirt work and utilities. Once the site was rough graded, PLI crews began installing a series of cast-in-place concrete inlet boxes, piping and detention ponds for the fire water sewer and storm water sewer systems. These systems allow for normal runoff from rain events to be collected into a clean storm water pond while foul water from fire training activities will collect into an isolated and lined pond. This foul water may have chemicals such as firefighting foam, traces of accelerants, soot, etc., and has no potential to migrate into the site runoff. The fire water pond is fully contained and is drained by vacuum truck through a suction line and treated by the company.

Once the storm sewer utilities were installed, PLI placed a 200-by-200-foot area of 8-inch paving to allow for the construction of the main structure apparatus. This structure, built by a subcontractor out of Wichita, Kansas, consists of several shipping containers that were modified and stacked to allow for training in a building environment.

Phase 2 of the project began with design and development of the electrical infrastructure to feed the site. PLI and its consultants worked with the client to develop a network of underground electrical duct banks and switchracks to house the electrical gear. The challenge was to incorporate enough vision into the future to ensure plenty of capacity for any potential future development of the site.

With Phase 2 design underway, we continued to develop Phase 3 — all of the remaining fire training prop areas and the infrastructure to support them. The prop areas include a decommissioned tower vessel, pump skids, vertical tanks, horizontally stacked heat exchangers, a pit fire prop, storage tank prop and other training props. This area will allow for a multitude of fire scenarios to be created in a controlled training environment, such as ruptured seals or gaskets, pit fires, floating roof or open-top tank fires, pressure vessel failures and the like. PLI also designed into the prop areas the ability to conduct high-angle and rope rescue training. The site’s infrastructure includes gas and propane fuel piping, fire water supply piping, additional fire water sewer and storm sewer piping, and containment areas, as well as manual and electrical shutoff controls for safe execution of the various training scenarios.

PLI is currently well underway with the installation of the Phase 2 electrical infrastructure and beginning stages of installing the Phase 3 work on-site. When completed in the latter part of 2018, this facility will be a first-class site for industrial and municipal fire and life safety training for decades.

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