Members of the Sun City Hilton Head Model Railroaders club have completed a model project for the Bluffton Township Fire District and turned over their efforts Feb. 26 to firefighters at St. Gregory Fire Station.
Club members built 14 three-dimensional models of local commercial, residential and school areas that will be used to help train firefighters.
The collaborative effort began last May, when Fire Chief John Thompson met with several members of the club, which is a special interest group (SIG) of the Sun City Woodworkers Guild.
The group discussed the scope of the project and how the resulting items could be used to improve the firefighters’ knowledge of the layout of certain areas – before an emergency occurred.
The 14 models are two-sided wood panels, each 2 feet by 4 feet, and feature various scenes within Bluffton. Among the named entities are Bluffton High, H.E. McCracken Middle and Bluffton Elementary schools, Food Lion in Okatie Village, Hampton Inn and Okatie Ale House, Tanger 2 Outlets and Walmart and Sam’s Club. Other, more generic scenes include high-density housing, a mobile home park and a farm.
According to project manager Bill Walker, 15 Model Railroad members joined him in working on the models, including president Jon Davis and Bill Kronimus, who was the designer and master builder. Others were Henry Becker, Jim Cubie, Grayston Dancey, Paul Henry, Jim Klaus, Bert Pagano, Ray Renneberg, Burt Roberts, Alice Ricard, Clyde Ricard, Bill Standen and Bob Tesler.
Walker said the project required more than 500 man hours.