American City Building Training

The Howard Hughes Corporation has provided Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) with the opportunity to conduct Live Fire Training Evolutions that will deliver a unique fire training experience seldom available to the fire service. The American City Building will allow these evolutions to be conducted safely with minimal exposure to health and safety hazards to firefighters and the community. 

  • What is the fire department doing at the American City Building?
    • HCDFRS will be conducting numerous trainings over the next 6 - 8 weeks to prepare for real-life emergencies that may occur in high-rise structures. These trainings include: live fire exercises, search and rescue, and tactical responses. 
  • Why is the fire department using the American City Building?
    • In collaboration with the Howard Hughes Corporation, HCDFRS was given permission to use the structure and train first responders for real-life emergencies. The building is scheduled to be demolished at the completion of the training evolutions. Therefore, the department is able to alter the structure’s interior for specific training purposes.
  •  How often should I expect this training to take place?
    • This training is expected to be delivered Monday through Wednesday and occasionally on Saturdays or Sundays.
    • Scheduled training and deviations will be regularly updated through social media and public notification signage.
  • Can the training be done at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center?
    • It’s a rare occasion for a fire department to acquire a large structure such as the American City Building. While simulations occur at the training facility, the opportunity to use the American City Building will allow HCDFRS to provide the safest and best experience possible under both realistic and controlled circumstances.   
  • Will fire or smoke be visible from the building and what impact will it have on traffic and businesses?
    • Smoke may be visible from the building at certain times throughout the trainings, but the fire will be controlled at all times by highly trained professionals.
    • Smoke conditions will be minimal with no impact to travel, business, and pedestrian traffic.
    • Live fire training requires multiple instructors, safety officers, and standby personnel to ensure any live fire is controlled at all times.
  • Are there any safety issues/concerns the community should have?
    • Residents, employees, and visitors of Howard County should not be concerned about their safety while training occurs. Fencing has been placed around the building to prevent any trespassing and emergency personnel will be on location while training is in progress.
  • Do I have access or permission to view the trainings?
    • Safety is an integral part of our mission, there will be no access to the building or the immediate surrounding area while training is in progress. However, we will update our social media channels frequently with pictures and video after certain trainings are complete.


For additional information, please call 410-313-6000.