NORFOLK -- The Norfolk Fire-Rescue Department conducted realistic training Wednesday in the former A-Wing of Sentara Leigh Hospital before the structure is demolished.
Crews carried heavy equipment up three flights of stairs, created smoke, sprayed water from the building’s standpipes, rescued heavy mannequins through windows, chopped holes in the roof and conducted other kinds of disruptive training in a substantial structure.
“It’s rare that we get to train in such a realistic manner,” says Battalion Chief Julian Williamson, spokesperson for Norfolk Fire-Rescue. “We can test our skills to the max in this structure and not worry about breaking anything,” Williamson continues, “and we appreciate the opportunity from Sentara.”
When the training cycle is complete, demolition of the 1977 A-Wing will begin to make room for the 5-story West Tower, which will mirror the East Tower that opened to patients on November 16, hospital officials said.