If you went down the Burnam Road in the past couple weeks, you would probably wonder what in the world was happening. What was thought to be some down time for the Phi Delta Theta chapter at Missouri has turned out to be a semester of hitting the ground running. Approximately 10 fire trucks and a multitude of teams of firefighters from the Columbia Fire Department have been performing practice drills inside the Phi Delt chapter house due to its current vacancy. The brothers have moved out for the Spring 2016 semester in order to make way for approximately $4 million in additions and renovations. The Missouri Alpha Chapter Advisory Board was able to extend the firefighters the opportunity to use the chapter house as their drill sight due to this.
From the street, you would think that the house was burning down. However, it’s all part of the drills put on by the fire department. Inside the house, smoke machines fill the house and rooms to reenact real-life situations for these men who work to protect the Columbia community day in and day out. Teams of firefighters are required to go into the building for rescue drills. Once the smoke is billowing out of the house, a team is sent in to find the “downed” firefighter before it’s too late. One firefighter is placed at a random room in the house and the teams use proper techniques to locate the man down as quickly as possible. With the chapter house having over 40 rooms and multiple large common areas, it is an ideal training facility for firefighters to run these drills. The firefighters have been doing 10-12 hour days at the house, lining the street with trucks and equipment.
Everything that is going on at the Phi Delt house is a culmination of what the true meaning of a Fraternity is all about. Over the past couple years, capital campaign leaders have reached out to alumni asking for their generous help to fund their Proud to Be a Phi Campaign for the renovated house. Those who have experienced the great brotherhood that this Fraternity has to offer have voluntarily given back to ensure the tradition continues and help make the chapter house better than it has ever been. Also, by allowing the Columbia Fire Department to use its facilities, Phi Delta Theta has participated in community outreach amongst the busy times ahead with the approaching construction.