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Yardley Flats construction site simulates tower crane training for Knoxville Fire Department

August 21, 2023
Firefighters simulated real-life rescue scenarios.

The Knoxville Fire Department’s technical rescue team collaborated with ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee to engage in specialized training exercises at the Yardley Flats construction site, which will be built in conjunction with the new multi-use stadium.

During the session, firefighters engaged in hands-on familiarization with the tower crane, ensuring they understood its mechanisms and potential risks. Activities included safety protocol briefings, simulation of emergencies related to crane incidents and real-world rescue scenarios. These exercises are paramount as tower cranes become more prevalent in Knoxville’s skyline, ensuring that first responders are adequately prepared to handle these types of emergencies.

“Ensuring the safety of our construction sites and understanding potential challenges is critical,” said Joseph A. Fielden Jr., president of Third Base Residential and developer of Yardley Flats. “Our rapidly changing urban environment demands that our first responders are equipped and prepared for every scenario.”

Yardley Flats, named in honor of William Francis Yardley, a prominent Black attorney and civil rights advocate in the late 1880s, will provide a modern living experience adjacent to the new stadium, which is being built in East Knoxville on the edge of the Old City. The apartments will feature amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center and courtyards with stadium views.

“Real-world training scenarios greatly enhance our team’s proficiency and adaptability,” KFD Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said. “Being familiar with the intricacies of tower cranes and their associated challenges ensures we’re ready to respond efficiently when it matters most.”

Fielden praised the construction team for coordinating the training session, including Shelma Wolfenbarger, director of safety and compliance for JA Fielden Co. Inc.

“We’re glad to have helped facilitate this training, because it helps to ensure safety at all sites, not just Yardley Flats,” Wolfenbarger said. “Knoxville is booming with construction and that is a good thing for our community’s growth. We appreciated the professionalism of the Knoxville Fire Department and were happy to provide a training site.”

The training session underscored the commitment of Yardley Flats, the Knoxville Fire Department and ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee to safety and collaboration in serving the community.

“We were thrilled with the response from the Knoxville Fire Department,” said Mark Bartholomew of ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee who was onsite for the training. “My brother is a firefighter, so my heart is with them. This training was so well-received, and we are all about helping our civil servants.”

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About Third Base Residential

Third Base Residential, a newly formed local company based in Knoxville, is a partnership between local developer Joe Fielden Jr., Joe Fielden Sr. and members of GEM Community Development Group. Through related companies Neyland Associates and JA Fielden Co. Inc., the Fieldens develop, construct and operate high-end apartment communities throughout greater Knoxville and the southeast United States. The company prides itself on creating thoughtfully designed communities that residents are happy to call home.

About GEM Community Development Group

GEM Community Development Group, the private development partner to Boyd Sports, seeks to bring more than $200 million in private investment to complement the new multi-use Knoxville stadium, including residential, hotel, restaurant, retail and commercial projects.