The Cobb Residence Hall, originally built in 1969, served a new purpose this week after housing 72 men each year for nearly 50 years. Before the residence hall is demolished next Monday, Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services personnel used it to train for unique situations they rarely have the ability to practice.
“Reinhardt is pleased to partner with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and offer one of our oldest facilities, Cobb Hall, for fire rescue training. Cobb provides a rare opportunity to train in a building with stairs and an elevator,” said Reinhardt University President Dr. Kina S. Mallard. “Cobb Hall will become Cobb Parking this fall when Reinhardt opens a new 184-bed residence hall.”
The first floor of Cobb Hall was used for an advanced hose-line stretch, using the long hallways to train for a skill they frequently use in the field but rarely have an opportunity to practice. Doors inside Cobb Hall were purposely locked to practice forcing doors down during a fire. Windows were painted orange to signify rooms that contained hypothetical fires and show the firefighters how to put together signs from the outside and inside of a building when evaluating a situation. Once the “fire” was located, they simulated attacking it.
Cobb Hall’s third floor also gave the fire department unique advantages, as most of the buildings they use for practice are two-stories. The third-floor simulation was victim removal, in which fire fighters removed 165-pound dummies out a window and down a 35-foot ladder. This allowed them to learn the best ways to maneuver and carry people out of a fire. According to Cherokee County Fire Shift Commander, Ryan McElwee, who headed up the training exercise “The training conducted in the former Cobb Hall at Reinhardt University afforded us the opportunity to simulate a real world fire event in a large commercial structure. Simulating a fire on the first floor of the structure allowed us to practice advanced hose line advancement and forcible entry techniques while simultaneously conducting advanced search techniques and victim removals on the 2nd and 3rd floors.”
“We are very appreciative of Dr. Mallard and Reinhardt University for allowing us the opportunity to use their facility for advanced fire training exercises. We are limited on our capabilities to deliver realistic high rise firefighting and rescue drills. The use of the former three story dormitory complex provides that optimum and realistic training. This training experience is not only great for Cherokee County but also a huge benefit to Reinhardt University because of the number of multi-story facilities on their property. It is a great experience partnering with Reinhardt University as a community stakeholder and we look forward to maintaining that relationship,” stated Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather.
Cobb Hall was initially named after Mrs. Theora Westbrook Cobb. It was built at the same time as the Robert’s Residence Hall, costing $585,000 to build both three-story housing buildings.
Commemorative bricks are being saved from structure that housed so many students over the last five decades. Bricks, which will be inscribed, can be purchased for $100 each. For more information, contact Tim Norton, vice president for advancement & marketing, at TAN@Reinhardt.edu.