Title:
Emergency response training and exercise facility
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An emergency response training and exercise facility and complex. The emergency response training and exercise facility includes a site facility and preferably a plurality of modular units to provide one or more simulated disaster environments or scenarios.



Inventors:
Holgerson, John R. (Deerfield Beach, FL, US)
Caldwell, Michael T. (Fredericksburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/986396
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
11/12/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H6/00; E04H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLIMA LAW OFFICES, P.L.L.C. (P.O. Box 2855, Stafford, VA, 22555-2855, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An emergency response training and exercise facility, comprising: a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment; and a site facility having a plurality of modular unit receivers configured to receive said plurality of modular units in a particular arrangement.

2. An emergency training facility, comprising: a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment; and a site facility having a plurality of modular unit receivers configured to receive said plurality of modular units in a matrix arrangement.

3. An emergency response training and exercise facility, comprising: a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment, said modular units being cargo shipping containers fitted out to simulate at least one disaster environment when assembled together, said modular units being configured to provide egress and ingress from one modular unit to an adjacent modular unit when assembled together; and a site facility having a plurality of elongated modular unit receivers configured to receive said plurality of modular units in a three dimensional matrix multi-tier arrangement so that when said modular units are installed into said site facility said modular units will be arranged parallel relative to each other and located side-by-side and above-and-below relative to each other, said site facility configured to secure said modular units together to provide an integrated fixed three dimensional multi-tier simulated disaster environment, said site facility being configured with said plurality of modular unit receivers being open on one side of said site facility to allow said plurality of modular units to be loaded into said plurality of modular unit receivers with lifting equipment for assembly of said emergency response training and exercise facility.

4. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular units are cargo shipping containers fitted out to simulate at least one disaster environment, said cargo shipping containers being provided with one or more openings configured to provided egress and ingress with one or more adjacent cargo shipping containers when installed into said site facility.

5. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said site facility is a building provided with a plurality of modular unit receivers.

6. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said site facility is an open framework configured to provide said plurality of modular unit receivers to support said plurality of said modular units.

7. A facility according to claim 6, wherein said open framework is an open post and beam steel framework configured to define said plurality of modular unit receivers and configured to support said plurality of said modular units when assembled with said site facility, said site facility being provided with a facade to simulate a building on at least one side of said site facility.

8. A facility according to claim 7, wherein said site facility is configured so that said plurality of modular units are supported and rest on at least one set of horizontal cross beams when installed into said site facility.

9. A facility according to claim 8, wherein said open post and beam steel framework is provided with horizontal cross beams on both a front side and back side of said site facility to directly support said plurality of modular units.

10. A facility according to claim 7, wherein said site facility is provided with a facade configured to simulate a front of a building, said facade being connected to and anchored to said open post and beam steel framework.

11. A facility according to claim 7, wherein said simulated facade includes at least one selected from the group consisting of glass panels, metal panels, concrete panels, plastic panels, fiberglass panels, composite panels, concrete slabs, windows, doors, brick and mortar and stucco.

12. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said site facility is a steel reinforced poured concrete structure having concrete floors and walls configured to define said plurality of modular unit receivers and capable of supporting said plurality of modular units.

13. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular unit receivers are located side-by-side.

14. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular unit receivers are located above-and-below.

15. A facility according to claim 13, wherein said modular unit receivers are located above-and-below.

16. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular unit receivers are arranged in multiple tiers.

17. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular unit receivers are located in a vertical and horizontal three-dimensional matrix arrangement.

18. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said site facility is a modular site facility configured to be assembled on site.

19. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said modular units are configured to be locked together when installed into said site facility.

20. A facility according to claim 1, wherein said emergency training facility is configured to provide disaster training for at least one selected from the group consisting of fire, rescue, smoke, explosion, hazardous materials, emergency medical, police, FBI, CIA, homeland security, terrorism, assault, battle and war.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an emergency response training and exercise facility configured to simulate one or more disaster environments or scenarios.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There exists a need for training and exercise facilities and complexes for training and exercising personnel. It is highly desirable that such facilities and complexes can be modified, altered, rearranged, or otherwise changed to simulate different disaster environments or scenarios.

There have been attempts in the past to provide mobile training facilities for training personnel. Typically, these mobile facilities include a single separate trailer, which can be hauled from one location to another location. Further, some of these trailers are provided with facilities to provide fire and smoke within the trailers to simulate a fire.

However, none of these current mobile facilities are significant in size, and are limited in their ability to be reconfigured or otherwise changed. Thus, there exists a need for a full scale facility to simulated more real types of disaster environments, and easily reconfigurable to provide different types of disaster environments or scenarios.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention to provide an improved emergency response training facility.

A second object of the present invention is to provide an improved emergency exercise facility.

A third object of the present invention is to provide an improved emergency response training and exercise facility.

A fourth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility, including a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment or scenario, and a site facility having a plurality of modular unit receivers configured to receive a plurality of modular units in a particular arrangement within the site facility.

A fifth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility, including a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment or scenario, and a site facility having a plurality of modular unit receivers configured to receive the plurality of modular units in a matrix arrangement.

A sixth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility, including a plurality of modular units configured to simulate at least one disaster environment or scenario, the modular units being cargo shipping containers fitted out to simulate at least one disaster environment when assembled together, the modular units being configured to provide egress and ingress from one modular unit to an adjacent modular unit when assembled together, and a site facility having a plurality of elongated modular unit receivers configured to receive the plurality of modular units in a three dimensional (3-D) matrix multi-level or multi-story or multi-tier arrangement so that once the modular units are installed into the site facility the modular units will be arranged parallel relative to each other and located side-by-side and above-and-below relative to each other, the site facility configured to secure the modular units together to provide an integrated fix three dimensional (3-D) multi-tier simulated disaster environment, the site facility being configured with the plurality of modular unit receivers being open to one side of the site facility to allow the plurality of modular units to be loaded into the plurality of modular unit receivers with lifting equipment for assembly of the emergency response training and exercise facility.

A seventh object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility using modular units that are cargo shipping containers fitted out to simulate at least one disaster environment, the cargo shipping containers being provided with one or more openings configured to provide egress and ingress with one or more adjacent cargo shipping containers when installed into the site facility.

A eighth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility wherein the site facility is a building provided with a plurality of modular unit receivers.

A ninth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility wherein the site facility is an open framework configured to provide a plurality of modular unit receivers to support a plurality of modular units.

A tenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility wherein the open framework is a steel post and beam framework configured to define a plurality of modular unit receivers and configured to support a plurality of modular units when assembled within the site facility, the site facility being provided with a facade to simulate a building on at least one side of the site facility.

A eleventh object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility, wherein the site facility is configured so that a plurality of modular units are supported and rest on at least one set of horizontal cross beams when installed into the site facility.

A twelfth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility wherein a steel post and beam steel framework is provided with horizontal cross beams on both a front side and back side of a site facility to directly support a plurality of modular units.

A thirteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility wherein a site facility is provided with a facade configured to simulate a front of a building, the facade being connected to and anchored to a steel post and beam framework.

A fourteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including a simulated facade having at least one selected from the group consisting of glass panels, metal panels, concrete panels, plastic panels, fiberglass panels, composite panels, concrete slabs, windows, doors, brick and mortar and stucco.

A fifteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility, including a steel reinforced poured concrete structure having concrete floors and walls configured to define a plurality of modular unit receivers and capable of supporting a plurality of modular units.

A sixteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular unit receivers are located side-by-side.

A seventeenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular unit receivers located above-and-below.

A eighteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular unit receivers located side-by-side and above-and-below.

A nineteenth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular unit receivers arranged in multiple tiers.

A twentieth object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular unit receivers located in both a vertical and horizontal three dimensional (3-D) matrix arrangement.

A twenty-first object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including a modular site facility configured to be assembled on site.

A twenty-second object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility including modular units configured to be locked together when installed into a site facility.

A twenty-third object of the present invention is to provide an emergency response training and exercise facility according wherein the emergency training facility is configured to provide disaster training for at least one selected from the group consisting of fire, rescue, smoke, explosion, hazardous materials, emergency medical, police, FBI, CIA, ATF, homeland security, terrorism, assault, battle and war.

The present invention is to provide an emergency training and exercise facility. The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention can be a part or portion of an emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention.

In a preferred embodiment, the emergency response training and exercise facility is provided with a control tower for use in emergency response training and exercise for the entire emergency response training and exercise complex. Thus, the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention is a subunit or subcomponent of the emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention.

The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention includes at least one mobile unit in combination with a site facility. The mobile unit is preferable configured to simulate at least one disaster environment or scenario, or more preferably a plurality thereof. In embodiments of the emergency training and exercise facility having multiple modular units, each modular unit can be configured to simulate the same disaster environment or scenario (i.e. to train multiple groups of personnel on the same disaster environment). Alternatively, the modular units can be configured to each provide different disaster environments or scenarios. As a further alternative, the modular units can be configured to provide a single larger integrated disaster environment or scenario or a portion thereof when the modular units are assembled and integrated together.

In a preferred embodiment of the emergency exercise and training facility using multiple modular units, preferably the multiple modular units can be rearranged relative to each other to simulate a new disaster environment or scenario, or provide a different layout of the same type of disaster environment or scenario.

The modular units are preferably configured to be modular, mobile and easily transported by truck, trailer, rail, ship, air, or other conventional transport means. Preferably the modular units are made from cargo shipping containers, in particular standard sized new or used corrugated steel shipping containers, currently used in the shipping industry, and then prefabricated and/or fitted out with a wide variety of different materials and/or equipment to simulate a wide variety of disaster environments or scenarios. For example, the corrugated steel walls of the shipping container can be cut open and fitted with doors, widows, openings, hatches, panels, holes, or other modifications to the existing corrugated steel wall. The interior of the shipping container can be provided with walls, partitions, facilities, equipment, fixtures, furniture, flooring, ceiling, plumbing, electrical service, telephone service, internet service, satellite service, cable service, office equipment, fire generating equipment, smoke generating equipment, simulated explosion equipment, lighting fixtures, siren equipment, bell equipment, stereo equipment, intercom equipment, computer equipment and other equipment necessary or required to simulate a wide variety of disaster environments or scenarios.

In preferred embodiments, the outer walls of the shipping containers are not extended, added to, removed, or otherwise significantly modified so that the cargo shipping container modular unitss can be easily transported in the various manners as described above, and then assembled within the site facility according to the present invention.

The cargo shipping container type modular units can be prefabricated and/or fitted out at one location, and then transported to the desired site for assembly with the previously constructed site facility.

The site facility according to the present invention can be constructed (e.g. with parts, components and materials) at a particular site, and constructed to be a substantially stationary or fixed structure. Alternatively, the site facility according to the present invention can be configured to be modular and mobile. For example, portions of the site facility can be prefabricated at one location and then transported to the desired site location for later assembly.

A preferred embodiment of the site facility according to the present invention includes a steel post and beam construction, more preferably a commercial grade steel post and beam construction, assembled together to provide an open framework at the site location. Preferably, at least one side of the open framework is provided with a building facade (e.g. brick and mortar, steel panels, concrete panels) configured to simulate a commercial building. The building facade can be constructed to be structural independent of the open framework (e.g. self supporting), or can be directed supported by the open framework steel post and beam construction.

The facade can configured to exhibit a single theme or building sytle, or can be made so as to exhibit multiple themes or styles, for example, different styles along horizontal rows or vertical columns of the overall facade and integrated together. For example, the entire facade can exhibit a standard or conventional type architecture for the facade of a commercial building. Alternatively, the front could exhibit a series of row houses having a variety of different individual facades connected together to simulate a block of row houses. As a further example, each tier or floor can have a different type or style of commercial building facade.

In addition, the sides and back of the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention can also be provided with building facades to simulate the sides and/or back of a residential or commercial building. Preferably, at least one side is not provided with a facade to allow the modular units to be loaded into modular unit receivers in the site facility from the open side. In a preferred embodiment, the back side of the emergency response training and exercise facility is left open for loading of the mobile units from the back of the building into modular unit receivers defined by the open framework.

The building facade can be constructed so as to be relatively thin, (e.g. less than three feet in thickness) or can be constructed to be more substantial, for example, three (3) foot to twenty (20) feet in depth to be self supporting for multiple floor or stories. In any event, it is preferable that the facade is connected and anchored to the steel post and beam open framework to structurally connect and/or support the facade as a portion of the overall site facility. Alternatively, or in addition, the facade can be a free standing structure positioned adjacent to the steel post and beam open framework.

The steel post and beam open framework is preferably made from structural post and beams (e.g. steel posts and steel girders) bolted, welded and/or riveted together, the same or similar to the construction of a conventional high-rise building. In a preferred embodiment, at least one side, preferably the backside of the steel post and beam open framework is left open to allow loading of the modular units through the openings on that particular side of the open framework defining modular unit receivers. For example, the space between the outer posts on that particular side are void of any additional vertical posts provided free spanning openings the width of the open framework defining modular unit receivers. The steel post and beam open framework is preferably constructed with additional cross or transverse beams (e.g. girders) configured to support the bottom walls of the modular units when loading and assembled within the steel post and beam open framework. For example, two or more cross or transverse beams (e.g. girders) are provided and oriented to allow the bottom plate of the modular unit to slide on when loading the modular units into modular unit receivers on a particular tier or floor. Optionally, the cross or transverse beams (e.g. girders) are provided with low friction surfaces (e.g. Teflon pads riveted or adhered to girders), or a plurality of rollers or roller system configured to support the bottom edges or walls of the modular units. In this manner, the modular units, in particular cargo shipping container modular units, can be partially loaded onto the transverse beams or girders with a forklift, crane or elevator, and then pushed and/or pulled to slide the cargo shipping container type modular unit into position within the modular unit receivers of the steel post and beam open framework.

The cargo shipping container type modular units can be lifted with heavy equipment such as a large forklift, crane or elevator into the openings of the modular unit receivers provided on at least one side of the steel post and beam open framework. In the case of a forklift, the forklift can then be used to lift and push the cargo shipping container type modular unit into final position on a particular tier or floor. Alternatively, the steel post and beam open framework can be provided with a cable, pulley or hydraulic system to connect with and load the cargo shipping container type modular units by pushing or pulling into final resting or installed position.

In an alternative embodiment, the emergency response training and exercise facility is provided with lifting equipment such as external or internal cranes, hydraulic lifting equipment, and/or a cargo shipping container type modular unit elevator located on one side of the open framework or within the interior of the open framework. In any event, it is desirable that the cargo shipping container type modular units after being assembled into particular location can then later be rearranged at different positions within the open framework to reconfigure the overall emergency training and exercise facility.

Another embodiment of the site facility according to the present invention is a reinforced concrete structure having reinforced concrete plates, posts and/or walls. In this manner, at least one side of the building can be configured to provide openings into the modular unit receivers to allow loading of the cargo shipping container type modular units into at least one side of the site facility. Alternatively, a portion of the building can be a steel post and beam open framework combined with a portion of the site facility being made of reinforced concrete construction.

In a further embodiment, the open framework is eliminated and the site facility consists of only a free standing building facade. The cargo shipping container type modular units are placed in position side-by-side and/or above-and-below and adjacent to the back side of the building facade, or preferably connected or locked thereto. The cargo shipping container type modular units can be bolted or pinned together at their corner connectors that same or similar in which cargo shipping container type modular units or loaded and shipped on international shipping vessels to secure them together during trans-ocean voyage.

In a preferred embodiment, the simulated building facade is made of glass panels, metal panels, concrete panels, plastic panels, fiberglass panels, composite panels, concrete slabs, windows, doors, brick and mortar, stucco, stone and/or wood. Other conventional building parts, components and materials may also be utilized in constructing the simulated building facade for the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention.

The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention is preferably provided with a control tower. The control tower preferably is configured to substantially extend above the height of the emergency response training and exercise facility to provide a vantage point for watching and viewing the training and exercises being conducted at the emergency response training and response facility. Further, when the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention is integrated into an emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention, the control tower can be configured to provide a vantage point for viewing the entire emergency response training and exercise facility complex during operations.

The emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention, preferably includes the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention as a part or portion thereof. For example, the emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention includes the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention in combination with one or more additional facilities such as a separate school or classroom facility, separate outdoor training and exercise facility, additional separate emergency response and training exercise facility of the same or a different configuration, and/or other specialized facilities integrated together to define the emergency response training and exercise complex. In such a complex, preferably, there would exist numerous different types of personnel, equipment to conduct a wide variety of different operations directly or indirectly involving emergency response training and exercise facility.

The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention is to provide an inexpensive solution for technical training, specifically technical rescue training, explosive ordinance disposal, chemical disposal, biological disposal, radiological disposal, nuclear disposal, fire training, police training and medical training. The purpose is to provide an intense realistic, scalable, and manageable training facility.

The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention provides a relatively small footprint making construction inexpensive, designed to be easy to maintain, and fire proof. It is desirable that at least the modular units can be easily transported from a remote location to the particular site, and preferably the site facility itself is also modular and can be constructed at another location, transported, and then assembled or reassembled at the desired site location. It is preferred that state-of-the-art type construction methods, parts, components and materials are used in building the modular units and the site facility of the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention.

Preferably, the modular units are prefabricated and provided pre-developed scenario boxes to simulate disaster environments or scenarios to provide training or exercise for a collapsed shoring, law enforcement tactical operation, confine space rescue, search and rescue operations, metal cutting, concrete operation, technical search operations, and disaster medicine. It is desired that multiple challenges and scenarios are provided by the modular units. Cargo shipping container type modular units provide boxes that are easily moved and configured, and filled with scenarios and training props. It is desired that only a minimal number of personnel are required to operate and maintain the modular units, site facility and emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention.

In more advanced embodiments of the emergency response training and exercise facility, live video feed and taping can be provided within the facility for training and monitoring purposes.

In some embodiments, the facility is provided with various roller components or system to assist in moving boxes from one location to another location within the site facility. The roller system would be designed to ease moving boxes on the same floor or level, and/or moving boxes from a level onto the elevator and up or down to another level.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front and side perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a back and side perspective view of the emergency response training and exercise facility, as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a back and side perspective view of the emergency response training and exercise facility shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a back perspective view of the emergency response training and exercise facility as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a cargo shipping container type modular unit of the emergency response training and exercise facility shown in FIGS. 1 to 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a trailer configured for transporting the cargo shipping container type modular unit according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the trailer, as shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a top elevational view of the trailer as shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9A is a partial broken away side elevational view of the trailer, as shown in FIG. 6, in a transporting mode.

FIG. 9B is partial broken away side elevational view of the trailer, as shown in FIG. 6, in an unloading mode.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention.

FIG. 11A is a top planar view of an embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility including a cargo shipping container type modular unit elevator.

FIG. 11B is a side elevational view of the emergency response training and exercise facility including a modular unit elevator as shown in FIG. 11A.

FIG. 12 is an aerial perspective view of an emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of an emergency response training and exercise facility 10 is shown in FIGS. 1-4.

The emergency response training and exercise facility 10 includes a building facade 12 connected to a steel post and beam open framework 14.

The building facade 12 is provided, for example, with windows 16, doorways 18, columns 20 and balconies 22. The building facade 16 is configured to simulate a building facade for a residential or commercial building (e.g. commercial office building). In other embodiments, the building facade can be configured to simulate other styles of commercial building and/or residential building.

The open framework 14 includes posts 24 and beams 26. The posts 24 and beams 26 are preferably made of steel, and connected together by bolts, welding and/or rivets.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the emergency response training and exercise facility 10 is provided with a building facade 12 at only the front of the open framework 14. Alternatively, one or more additional sides of the open framework 14 can be provided with additional facades to simulate the sides or back of a building.

The emergency response training and exercise facility 10 includes the combination of the site facility 28 and at least one, preferably a plurality of modular units 30, as shown in FIGS. 2 to 4.

The site facility 28 of the embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, is a stationary or fixed building structure constructed of building parts, components and materials (e.g. brick and mortar, steel posts, steel beams, windows, columns, cast concrete balcony slabs and other building components). These materials are transported to the site location, and then the site facility 28 is built at a particular surveyed location. Alternatively, the site facility 28 can be partially assembled as separate modular units at another location, then transported by truck or rail or by other means to a particular site location, and then assembled together to same construction time at the site location, and possibly reduce construction cost for the site facility.

The modular units 30 are preferably constructed or made from new or used conventional corrugated steel plate cargo shipping containers. These cargo shipping containers are particularly useful for construction of the modular units 30, due to their strong welded steel construction, designed to be hermitically sealed, available at low cost, and standard is size and construction. For example, a new or used cargo shipping container is modified by cutting out one or more openings 32 (FIG. 3) through the corrugated steel side panel using a saw and/or cutting torch. Alternatively, or in addition, additional openings, doors, windows, hatches, panels or other features or facilities can be provided in the side panels, end panels, top panel and/or bottom panel of the cargo shipping container. These modifications allow for ingress and egress for personnel to move upwards, downwards, and/or sideways from one cargo shipping container type modular unit 30 to one or more adjacent cargo shipping container type modular unit 30 when the cargo shipping container type modular units loaded into the site facility 28.

The modular units 30 can be configured to provide the same disaster environment or scenario, or preferably each modular unit 30 can be configured to provide a different disaster environment or scenario. The interior of the modular units 30 can be provided with walls, partitions, doors, windows, closets, fixtures, equipment, plumbing, electrical service, telephone service, cable service, internet service, satellite service, intercom, props and other features or options. In any event, it is preferred that each disaster environment or scenario closely simulates an actual setting for a particular disaster environment or scenario. The modular units 30 can be provided with a wide variety of equipment such as fire generators, fire simulation equipment, smoke generators, heating, air conditioning, fans, sirens, bells, lighting fixtures, equipment to move movable walls, equipment to move movable partitions, hatches, kitchen fixtures, bathroom fixtures, bedroom fixtures, living room fixtures, family room fixtures, study fixtures, factory equipment, remnants, articles, books, magazines, manuals, clothing and other items to closely simulate an actual or real disaster setting, environment, situation and/or scenario.

As shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, a high load capacity industrial forklift 34 is used to load the modular units 30 into the modular unit receivers 36, defined by the beams 26 and the side posts 24 on the back side of the site facility 28. As shown in FIG. 4, the site facility 28 is wide enough to accept three (3) modular units 30 side-by-side on each tier or floor. This configuration can provide a matrix arrangement to hold up to twelve (12) modular units 30 (i.e. three (3) column of modular units by four (4) rows of modular units). However, the number of columns or rows can be increased and/or decreased depending on the particular design of the emergency response training and exercise facility 10. In a preferred embodiment, there exist locking devices for securing the modular units to the open framework 14 and/or to adjacent modular units such as using pins, bolts, mechanical locking mechanisms, cables, hydraulic rams or other suitable mechanical locking devices.

In an alternative embodiment, two (2) additional posts 24 are provided on each tier or floor on the back side of the site facility 28 to further define three (3) separate modular unit receivers 36 per tier or floor. This arrangement will add increased strength for supporting the length of the beams 26 located on the backside of the site facility 28. Optionally, the open framework 14 can be provided with flooring and/or roofing to close in the open framework per tier or floor for particular designs or applications.

A cargo shipping container type modular unit 30 is shown in FIG. 5. The cargo shipping container type modular unit 30 is provided with a pair of doors 38 that open at the center of the width of the cargo shipping container type modular unit 30. Specifically, the doors 38, 38 swing outwardly to open the modular unit 30. The doors 38 are provided with locking mechanisms 40 having handles 42 that pivot shafts 44 to open and close latches 46 located at the top and bottom of the opening into the cargo shipping container type modular unit 30.

The cargo shipping container type modular unit 30 is provided with corrugated steel sidewalls 48, top wall 50, bottom wall 52 and a pair of end walls 54. The corrugation of the steel plate increases the bending strength of the individual walls along one direction. The corners 56 of the cargo shipping container type modular units 48 are provided with through holes 58, which are configured to allow adjacent modular units located side-by-side or above-and-below to be connected and locked together by bolts or pins (not shown) received within the through holes 58 of the respective corners 56 of the cargo shipping container type modular units 30.

The cargo shipping container type modular units 30 are constructed and/or fitted out at another location and then transported to the site location for assembly into the site facility 28 of the emergency response training and exercise facility 10 according to the present invention. The cargo shipping container type modular units 30 can be of the type shown in FIG. 5, and described above, or can be modular building units constructed of framing (e.g. wood or metal studs), siding, flooring and roofing (i.e. preassembled), and then transported to the location of the site facility 28, the same or similar to modular home construction or modular commercial building construction. The cargo shipping container type modular unit are preferable due to their low cost, high availability, high structural strength, hermetically sealing, connection or anchoring corner points, and strong door and locking system. These types of cargo shipping containers can be purchased new or used, and then constructed and fitted out at another location and then shipped or transported to the site location for loading into the site facility 28 for assembling the emergency response training and exercise facility 10 according to the present invention.

The cargo shipping container type modular units 30 can be transported to the location of the site facility 28 by a variety of methods including truck, rail, ship, ground, air, or other conventional means of transportation. For example, the cargo shipping container type modular units 30 can be trucked to a location by use of a trailer 60, as shown in FIG. 6 to 9.

The trailer 60 includes a frame 62 having side rails 64 and cross beams 66. The trailer 60 is provided with a king pin type trailer hitch 68 for coupling with a king pin type receiver on a tractor-trailer or trailer or other commercial vehicle equipped with such receiver. A pair of tandem axles 70 are provided with sets of wheels 72, which axles 70 are connected to the frame 62 by beams 74.

The trailer 60 is provided with a tilting mechanism 76 including a pin arrangement for allowing the frame 62 to tilt relative to the trailer 60, as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B.

Another embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility 110 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 10. In this embodiment, the site facility 28 is provided with a control tower 178 having windows 180 defining an indoor control center and a railing 182 to define a roof level and means for connecting climbing ropes and other equipment for training and exercise personnel to scale the side of the site facility 28.

The control tower 178 can be occupied by personnel to overlook and control the emergency response training and exercise at the emergency response training and exercise facility 110. Further, the control tower 178 can also be used for the same purpose with respect to an emergency response training and exercise complex according to the present invention wherein the emergency response training and exercise facility 110 is only a part or portion of the complex.

A further embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility 210 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 11A and 11B.

In this embodiment, a modular unit elevator 184 is provided adjacent to the backside of the site facility 228, and configured for lifting modular units 230 to different levels and locations within the open framework 214.

The elevator 184 rides on two (2) sets of rails 186 anchored to the ground, asphalt, or cement slab providing a working surface for the forklift 234. The elevator 184 can be provided with a drive 188 for moving the elevator 184 back and forth along the rails 186. The elevator includes a lifting mechanism, for example, a drive motor 190 provided with a set of pulleys 192 operating cables 194 for lifting and lowering a elevator platform 196.

In use, the forklift 234 lifts a modular unit 230 and loads the modular 230 onto the elevator platform 196. The elevator 184 is moved to the proper position (i.e. particular column location) and then lifts the modular unit 230 to the selected level. A separate drive or cable mechanism is utilized for pushing or pulling the modular unit 230 from the elevator platform 196 into a modular unit receiver of the open framework 214 of the site facility 228.

An even further embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention can be a facility 10 shown in FIG. 1, however, with the framework 14 removed. In this embodiment the cargo shipping container type modular units 30 are loaded by use of a forklift or crane in a particular side-by-side and above-and-below arrangement directly in contact with each other and secured together using coupling pins. The cargo shipping container type modular units are positioned directly behind and adjacent a free standing building facade, and optionally can be secured or anchored in some manner thereto. In this manner the cargo shipping container type modular units themselves provide the structural support for cargo shipping container type modular units resting on top of cargo shipping container type modular units the same or similar in manner in which cargo shipping containers are currently shipped on large international trans-ocean shipping vessels. In this arrangement, the steel open framework 14 is totally eliminated, making the site facility less expensive to construct.

An embodiment of the emergency response training and exercise complex 300 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 12.

The emergency response training and exercise complex 300 includes an emergency response training and exercise facility 310 according to the present invention, a separate school facility 320 containing classrooms, and other facilities.

The emergency response training and exercise facility according to the present invention includes at least one modular unit and one site facility. Preferably, a plurality of modular units are loaded into a site facility readied for operations.

In a preferred embodiment, a plurality of modular units are loaded into the site facility by use of lifting equipment (e.g. forklift and/or modular unit elevator). Preferably, all of the modular unit receivers are loaded with modular units in a particular configuration or arrangement. Additional modular units can be stored at or near the facility to allow quick change thereof to change disaster environments, arrangement and/or scenarios.

Preferably, the modular units once loaded within a modular unit receivers of the site facility are secured, or more preferably, locked into place so as not to move during the training and exercise operations. For example, the various floors or levels of the site facility can be provided with a floor, ceiling or wall locking mechanism(s) that engages or cooperates with the individual modular units, and/or the modular units can be secured together by pins, bolts, comealongs, cables, or other mechanical couplers or fasteners.

During operations, training or exercise personnel man the control tower of the facility, and begin operations by personnel entering into the modular units. The training or exercise operations continue for a period of time to allow adequate training or exercise. The front, sides and back of the site facility can be scaled using ropes, ladders or other climbing equipment, and even the control tower can also be scaled by certain personnel during the training or exercise operations. The personnel within the control tower, may for example, control operations by use of speaker system, two-way radio, placards, intercom or other communication method, observe personnel, video record (e.g. video tape) and watch over the operations to maintain a high level of training and safety.