Chicago-area firefighters utilize former Allstate Campus for Fire Training Exercises

More than 650 Chicago-area firefighters from 20 different units participated in high rise fire training exercises over the last two weeks.More than 650 Chicago-area firefighters from 20 different units participated in high rise fire training exercises over the last two weeks.

Area Police and SWAT Teams have also used the site, soon to be home to The Logistics Campus, for key trainings

GLENVIEW, IL (SBN) — Chicago-area first responder agencies are getting real world training in fighting high-rise office fires by using office buildings on the site of the former Allstate Campus, prior to their demolition. Dermody Properties, a national private equity real estate investment, development and management company focused exclusively on the logistics real estate sector, arranged to make the facilities available to the first responders.

For the last two weeks, hundreds of firefighters from across the state, including the Village of Glenview Fire Department have trained onsite with instructors from the Illinois Fire Service Institute. The training consisted of exercises that took place in a high-rise training environment and allowed firefighters to practice in real world conditions they would face in the first few minutes of a fire in a high-rise building. The training was categorized by area fire personnel as “once in a lifetime training.”

You can watch an Illinois Fire Service Institute video about the training in the player below.

After two Chicago firefighters died in the line of duty last week, Lt. Jan Tchoryk battling a blaze in a high-rise building, and firefighter Jermaine Pelt, who responded to a house fire in the West Pullman neighborhood, this training was especially meaningful to many who participated.

“We cannot express how grateful we are to Dermody Properties and McDonagh Demolitions for the use of the buildings on the former Allstate campus,” said Village of Glenview Deputy Fire Chief Mike Rutkowski. “In these last two weeks, we’ve had more than 650 firefighters from 20 different communities participate in live fire training. This training has given us the opportunity to test many of our theories and tactics in real world conditions, which will allow us to be more effective and operate in a safer environment.”

For the past six months, Dermody Properties has had the privilege to work with multiple Chicago-area first responder agencies, allowing for training on the campus and in the buildings.

“We are extremely happy to cooperate with both the fire and police departments of Glenview, in what most recently expanded to a much larger regional event,” said Neal Driscoll, Midwest Region Partner at Dermody Properties. “The Village departments reached out to us shortly after acquiring the campus with interest in completing exercises before the buildings were demolished. This was a rare opportunity to train on a property of scale, since it includes a campus of varying low- and mid-rise office buildings.”

According to Village of Glenview Police Department Training Officer Joseph Curtis and Deputy Chief Rutkowski, getting access to modern office buildings, and staging live training exercises for both police and fire, is very rare.

“Our redevelopment of the office campus to modern industrial provided a window of opportunity for area first responders to train,” said Driscoll. “Dermody Properties is known for its collaboration with the communities in which we do business, and this was a tremendous opportunity for us to partner with key tenants of the community.”

In addition to the Village of Glenview, firefighters from Niles, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, Roselle, Northbrook, Highland Park, Wheeling, Prospect Heights. The group of instructors was provided by the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute which is located on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. This group of instructors is comprised of firefighters from fire departments across Illinois including the City of Chicago. MABAS-Illinois provided additional logistical support and resources to supplement the training exercises.

“We have been planning and preparing for this over the past four months and it would not have been possible without the collaboration of everyone involved,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rutkowski.

The Logistics Campus is located on the 232-acre former Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) headquarters in Glenview, Illinois. Dermody Properties broke ground on the project in October 2022 and, once complete, it will offer approximately 3.2 million square feet with flexibility to accommodate build-to-suits. The Class A, state-of-the-art facilities will utilize the most up-to-date, energy efficient designs. On a speculative basis, buildings are planned to range between 92,000 square feet and 455,000 square feet and will feature 36 to 40-foot clear height dock doors, drive-in doors and trailer and car parking. Buildings can be consolidated to create larger footprints or modified to deliver cross-dock buildings. The alternate designs can also accommodate up to 120 feet of exterior height, providing great flexibility and efficiency for modern industrial uses.