State Fire Academy’s New Conference Center Provides Classroom, Meeting Space for Training Future Tennessee Firefighters

State, Local Officials Commemorated Center’s Recent Grand Opening
Monday, November 16, 2020 | 10:38am

BELL BUCKLE, TENN. — State and local elected officials joined members of the Tennessee Fire Service on Friday, November 13, 2020 to preside over the grand opening of the newly completed 19,330 square foot conference center on the campus of the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA).

The conference center, which broke ground in October 2018, provides additional meeting and classroom space to better accommodate large classes, special classes focused on incident management, conferences and graduation ceremonies.

The socially distanced grand opening ceremony was highlighted by a video message to guests from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

“Expanding our vocational and technical offerings is transformational for Tennesseans and the future of our state as we all focus on how best to serve our fellow Tennesseans and local communities,” said Governor Bill Lee in a video shared with guests.

Located on 330 acres in Bedford County, TFACA offers real-world training in a rural setting across a dual curriculum of fire service and codes enforcement classes in order to promote greater professionalism and competency. Since its opening in 2001,TFACA has emerged as a national leader for training firefighters and codes enforcement officials. Each year, TFACA trains over 15,000 fire and codes students from across the Volunteer State. TFACA is part of the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, which is a division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.

“The new conference center will allow Tennessee to keep pace with the growing need for fire training and continue to help make the Academy a leader in fire training education,” said TDCI Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Peck.

The conference center features:

  • A 200-seat capacity auditorium with theater-style seating.
  • A multipurpose room that can accommodate up to 542 people.
  • Full audio and visual equipment allowing for state-of-the-art presentations.
  • Four new classrooms including one classroom that can be configured to support incident management training and facilitate simulation training used for wildland fires, mass evacuation, flood modeling and hazardous materials plume modeling.
  • Three of the new classroom spaces have occupancy ratings of 24 people while the fourth has an occupancy rating for 70 people. Prior to the conference center the largest classroom at TFACA had a maximum occupancy rating of 55

“As TFACA approaches its 20th anniversary in 2021, the new conference center and classroom spaces will help train a new generation of Tennessee firefighters in a rural setting,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley.

“TFACA averages 1,000 classes each year, far surpassing the 100 classes per year average that planners initially forecast,” said TFACA Executive Director Jeff Elliott. “I am proud of the growth in our classes and believe this conference center will continue the advancement of the Tennessee fire service and codes enforcement professionals.”

To download high-resolution photos of the event, visit TDCI’s Flickr page. A Facebook Live recording of the event is available at TDCI’s Facebook page.