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The Bowling Green Fire Department has several stations throughout the City, but what you may not know is that Station 5 on New Porter Pike has a long history of uses for the City before it became a fire substation. Station 5 plays a vital part in training Bowling Green firefighters today.

In 1983, 2.47 acres of land was purchased on New Porter Pike for $45,000. In 1984, a classroom building was constructed for $154,000 and was used for police shift change and training.  A draft pit was also built at the same time for the Fire Department to practice extinguishing chemical fires.  A fire training tower used to simulate different types of building fires was constructed in 1985 for $213,000 and in 1986, a burn pit was established.  Additionally, in 1987, a burn building was built for $100,000 to provide a place for firefighters to practice extinguishing an actual fire and to perform rescue operations in an enclosed space and experience the heat and smoke that accompany fires.

Both the Police and Fire Departments used the property for several years.  Then in 1999, a fire substation was built to better serve the needs of the north/northeast section of the City.  The main building was added to and transformed into living quarters for the firefighters. A three bay garage area was added to house several pieces of apparatus and equipment and a large classroom was built that is used for training new firefighters and for ongoing education classes for all fire personnel.

Because the training tower, burn pit and burn building were already in place, the Fire Department’s Training Division moved into this building as well, allowing for ready access to the training facilities.  Physical testing for potential new hires is done at Station 5 as well, using the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT) course that is housed on the property.

Over the last several years, many other training props have been added to help firefighters practice and prepare for real-world incidents.  They include a flashover chamber, a confined space prop, a maze, structural collapse props, a vehicle extrication prop and a firefighter safety survival  prop, as well as a vehicle fire prop that is set to arrive soon.  All of these training props allow fire personnel to hone their skills so they are better prepared when any given emergency arises.