Nashville firefighters deployed hoses, operated ladders, forced open doors and practiced search-and-rescue tactics when they took part in a unique training opportunity at Vanderbilt University’s 14-story Carmichael Tower 4 residence hall June 18-29.
Approximately 800 firefighters from across Davidson County participated in the high-rise response drills during 34 training sessions over the course of 12 days.
“Most departments of our size do not get these opportunities,” said Nashville Fire Department District Chief Greg Spring, who served as lead instructor for the Vanderbilt exercises. “The techniques and skills that we’re learning in there are invaluable. It just better prepares us.
“The real winners of this exercise are the citizens of Nashville and visitors to this city,” he said.
Electrical power to Carmichael Tower 4 was disconnected ahead of the start of the drills, which included pumping water through the building and the use of effects to simulate smoke, though no live fires were used.
Carmichael Towers 3 and 4 are slated for demolition later this summer.
“We thought this was a fantastic opportunity for the fire department to use this asset of Vanderbilt’s in a way that benefits both the fire department and, of course, the broader community,” said Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration.
The initiative was a collaboration among Vanderbilt, the Nashville Fire Department and Layton Construction, which is overseeing ongoing construction in Vanderbilt’s West End Neighborhood.