Last firefighter training session at ‘Pink Palace’ is tonight

Bradenton Fire Department firefighters, EMTs and paramedics from across Manatee County will finish up a major training operation tonight at the Pink Palace in downtown Bradenton.

The group of 30 emergency rescue officials spent two days last week at the vacant building along Ninth Street West simulating a multi-jurisdictional effort to rescue victims from a burning high-rise. The final exercise will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. following a 5:30 p.m. briefing at the Gene Gallo Fire Station, according to a news release from the city.

The city will temporarily close Fourth Avenue West between Ninth and 10th streets along the south side of building, although the city will try to accommodate through traffic during the drill, said Capt. Tom Woods of the Bradenton Fire Department, commander of the training exercise. This will not block access to the parking garage, he added.

The site of this training operation is the Pink Palace, a former hotel and residence that earned its nickname because of its pink façade and rich history. It is currently vacant, gutted and mostly without electricity, providing the perfect opportunity for firefighters to simulate a dangerous rescue mission, according to the release.