RICHMOND, Ind. — By next summer, Richmond Fire Department expects to have a finished education and fitness building at its training ground.
Ground will be broken at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5, for the 10,500-square-foot facility at the Israel “Izzy” David Edelman Fire and Police Training Ground, 1740 S. Eighth St. It’s the third phase of the training ground’s development.
RFD already has added state-of-the-art training props to provide hands-on experience for fire fighting and specialty disciplines within the fire service. With the entire $1.4 million cost funded, the new building, which will be built by Brumbaugh Construction, will become reality.
“They will be starting construction next week; they’re ready to go,” Chief Jerry Purcell said of Brumbaugh. “The hope is to get it under roof before the snow flies, so they can work inside.”
The building will include 4,007 square feet for physical agility training, including a testing area to provide required testing for job candidates and annual assessments of emergency responders.
Classroom and office space for education and continuing education will utilize 3,693 square feet inside the building.
A physical fitness training area that includes post-incident detox saunas takes up 2,800 square feet. The detox saunas enable firefighters to sweat out carcinogenic toxins their skin absorbs when fighting a fire.
The combination of training props and the new building provide RFD, which opens the facility to other agencies, with one of the top facilities in the state, Purcell said. RFD is working to become a training site for its state district and, hopefully, a satellite site for state training of new firefighters. Right now, RFD sends its new members to Ohio for training.
“To have that capability throughout the year and have other departments come to our city would be a blessing all the way around,” Purcell said.
The department committed $750,000 from its EMS fund to the project and received donations to cover the other $664,000 needed, which includes furnishings and equipment.
“We have great donors,” Purcell said.
Debra Edelman is one of the contributors. The training ground was dedicated in May 2019 to her son, Israel “Izzy” David Edelman, a Richmond native who died in an Oct. 21, 1984, fraternity house fire at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Wayne Township, through Trustee Susan Isaacs, and Bruce Upchurch, the owner of B&F Plastics, also helped finance the project.
RFD scaled back the original 16,000-square-foot plans late last year after anticipated costs climbed to about $1.8 million.
Richmond Fire Department will conduct its annual Memorial Service at 11 a.m. Friday at Fire Station 1, 101 S. Fifth St.
Each year’s service honors the four RFD members who have died in the line of duty: William M. Kenney, Oct. 23, 1924; Chief Edgar Miller, Feb. 11, 1931; Earl Miller, Nov. 19, 1943; and Lawrence Ghearing, March 19, 1948. They are commemorated on the Firefighters Memorial at Fire Station 1.