Empty Carmel neighborhood becomes training property for firefighters

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — An old, empty neighborhood in Carmel is a new training ground for the city’s fire department. It gives crews the chance to practice real-life scenarios.

Fire crews have more than 30 homes to use for training and every station can simulate different situations. It’s vital training as each home has a different layout.

Firefighters worked as a team on Wednesday to rescue a victim, which was a 140-pound dummy, through a busted-out window on the second story of a now-vacant home. They also worked on different grab techniques to save a patient from the side of a home on the first floor. Crews are able to cut the roof, force doors open and put smoke in the homes, anything to mirror a real fire situation.

“We don’t know how long we have them, a lot of times because it’s dependent on the construction site, so the crews are coming out almost daily and utilizing these, whether they are just using them for station house and crews or large scale company trainings that we are doing out here,” Carmel Fire Department spokesperson Tim Griffin said.

The Meridian suburban neighborhood was purchased by Meridian Development. The area is just north of the future Franciscan Health Orthopedic Center of Excellence, which is currently under construction. The exact plans as to what will replace the neighborhood are not clear.

Other law enforcement agencies like the Carmel Police Department and FBI have used the homes for practice.