The Plano Fire Department now has its own training facility that will allow firefighters to mimic real emergencies, rescue operations and buildings found in the city. Firefighters will also be able to practice situations such as solar panel fires, kitchen fires, home fires, collapsed structures and more.

During the Aug. 22 Plano City Council meeting, Fire Chief Chris Biggerstaff reported that work on the $15 million facility had been completed after nearly two years of construction. The facility is located on the northwest corner of McDermott and Robinson roads, just south of the police substation.

“If we’re going to have good training, it needs to be realistic training,” Biggerstaff said. “It needs to be as close to the actual event as you can get.”

The facility also features a six-story tower with each floor representing a different emergency environment such as that of a hotel lobby, a high rise apartment, an office environment and even elevators.

“This is a truly state-of-the-art facility,” Biggerstaff said. “This is the second [training facility] we have ever controlled on our own schedule. That is something that means a lot to us. We can train all night long if we want to.”

The department will host a public open house for the facility from 9 a.m.-noon on Oct. 1. The first class of recruits to utilize the training facility are slated to start around the beginning of November, Biggerstaff said.