For years, the city of Fort Worth, TX had to send its police and fire trainees to surrounding towns—with outdated training facilities, the city was overdue for an upgrade to accommodate the safety needs of its nearly 800,000 residents. Luckily, the city had a plan.
|Infinity Sound provided a series of microphones and cameras within the mock villages at Fort Worth’s new public safety training facility to record firefighters and police officers as they react to simulated emergency scenarios.
Located south of Fort Worth’s downtown was an existing complex of pre-World War II warehouses that were no longer in use. Seeing an opportunity to save money, the city wanted to repurpose these buildings and create a new training facility for both its police and fire departments on the 70-acre campus. Within the facility is a simulator that is capable of creating industrial and hazardous material scenarios with leaking gas, smoke, and fire. A second warehouse holds a simulated training village, which offers a cityscape layout with buildings designed to offer trainees a variety of scenarios for emergency and rescue situations.
The AV portion was carried out by local integrators Infinity Sound, with Steven Gardner leading the project as operations manager. “What we worked on was 23 classrooms, four firing ranges, four executive conference rooms, one auditorium, and a multipurpose room. The most interesting part, though, was the mock villages,” Gardner explained.
For the fire village, Infinity provided a series of microphones and cameras to record the trainees as they went through each scenario, along with an audio system to play recorded screams for the training sessions. They also installed Crestron control systems for the smoke generators to help create a realistic simulation of these emergency scenarios.
“The smoke generators were tied to go off at different times,” Gardner said. “We also did a similar setup for the police mock village.”
In the classrooms, a Marshall MLP 54 lectern with a Creston DMPS- 300-C presentation system runs the new screen projector and audio for presentations. In the conference rooms, Crestron audio and video controls were used again, along with video teleconferencing technology.
In the auditorium, Gardner said they installed a full auditorium setup, with Middle Atlantic racks, Draper Sl-12 projector lift mounts and 102827L screen, Barco PGWU-61B and RLM-W12 projectors, Sharp PNU553 displays, and a Tannoy loudspeaker system.
During the install process, Gardner said that his biggest challenge was just transporting all of the gear to the four buildings, which were all a quarter mile long. “We had to use a golf cart to get around.” Beyond that, the buildings themselves were so old and all concrete, so fastening a pathway for cabling was a big challenge for Infinity Sound.
Now that the center is fully functioning, Infinity Sound provides regular support to assure everything remains in working order. “With a facility that big, they have an in-house person, but we supplement them with anything he needs,” said Gardner. “We’ve got a great relationship with the city of Fort Worth.”
Now, with such a state-of-the-art training facility, Gardner said that surrounding towns are now coming to Fort Worth for training.
“It’s just a really cool facility,” he said. “The combo of fire and police together is something I haven’t seen before, but it really makes a lot of sense.”
Kelleigh Welch is managing editor of Systems Contractor News. Follow her on Twitter @kelleighwelch