At first sight, you’re not quite sure what to make of the large metal structure just west of George L. Lone Hall on the campus of Arsenal Tech High School. But it’s this large metal structure, technically called a Fire Drill Training Tower, that will provide opportunities for students in Tech’s Fire and Rescue program to gain more precise training.

IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) Chief Ernest Malone and Arsenal Tech’s Fire and Rescue Instructor Bill Alfke, along with students in the program, recently dedicated the newly installed tower.

The drill tower was made possible, thanks to an initiative by Chief Malone. It highlights the important partnership between the IFD, Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416, the city of Indianapolis and IPS.

More than 15 students are currently enrolled in the Fire and Rescue program, which is part of Arsenal Tech’s Career Technology Center (CTC). By adding the tower, students will learn and train on engine and ladder operations, CPR, aerial climbs and more.

“The tower allows these students to train like most IFD firefighters,” said Chief Malone. “We may even have our firefighters come train with the students on select days.”

The Fire and Rescue program started in 2012, allowing students to develop a set of skills unlike most high school students in Indiana. Arsenal Tech is one of only a handful of high schools in the country that offers an in-school, two-year program for juniors and seniors to train to become professional firefighters.

“It is teaching our students the skills to become firefighters. It is also teaching them the tools to become confident, respectful and have pride in the work that they do every day,” added Superintendent Johnson.