Supporting Local Firefighter Training

Supporting Local Firefighter Training with Land Bank Properties

Many land banks today are working to answer the question, what comes after demolition? While working to address that issue, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority has found a unique use for land bank properties before demolition: donation to local fire departments. The land bank has provided properties to Battle Creek, Albion, and Sheridan for their fire departments to use for firefighter training. And this year the land bank donated a permanent site to the Battle Creek fire department to train its new recruits. “This is a realistic site and we can build muscle memory and make us better and more efficient at our jobs,” Battle Creek Fire Chief David Schmaltz said. “It’s a house and that is what most of our fires are. This will be a big difference, crawling around in a house rather than on the bay floor of the fire station.” While the one property will be a permanent site for the Battle Creek Fire Department, other sites are used temporarily by fire departments before they are torn down through demolition. Land bank chair Christine Schauer noted, “The other land bank houses, the worst of the worst, can be used to further wreck and then take them down. That will allow the fire department to do whatever training they want and then take them down.” Click here for more details.