Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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July 17, 2008

Oswego County Acquires Fire Training School

Fire Training School - County officials toured the former Niagara Mohawk Fire Training School on East Seneca Street, Oswego. From left are Fire Coordinator John Hinds, Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann, Deputy Coordinator Donald Forbes, and Deputy Coordinator Jack Cottet. The facility contains classrooms and equipment to help firefighters learn fire extinguishment techniques in a variety of conditions.

OSWEGO - The former Niagara Mohawk Fire Training school on East Seneca Street is finally seeing activity after sitting empty for several years. Oswego County took ownership of the 19-acre facility, which includes classroom and office building, storage garage, and several training buildings, on July 1.

County Fire Coordinator John Hinds and his staff will move into the facility later this summer. The Fire Coordinator's Office will be located in the main building which contains two large classrooms.

“Before it was closed by Niagara Mohawk, the fire school was used for training by all the fire service in Oswego County, as well as industries and organizations,” said Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann. “Our goal is to eventually have the facility used again for this purpose, by first responders from area industries and businesses, and by emergency services throughout Central New York.”

The County received ownership of the property from National Grid on July 1. The county received a $100,000 grant through former State Senator James Wright for building and equipment repairs.

“We are extremely fortunate that Oswego County was able to acquire the training facility and receive the funding needed to help us develop a first-class training program,” said County Fire Coordinator John Hinds. “It will allow our firefighters and emergency workers to train right here in Oswego County. This has been a long time coming, and our firefighters and emergency workers certainly deserve it.”

The facility contains several specialized props to help firefighters train for challenging conditions , including a burn building to simulate a burning structure, equipment to control transformer fires and power line fires, air pack training, vehicle fires, and other similar conditions.

All of the equipment will be tested and some of it will need to be serviced before it can be used for training purposes. The complete use of the facility will be phased in over a period of a few years. In addition to specialized training structures, the facility contains a large storage building that can be used for the county fire service's hazardous materials equipment.

The County Fire Coordinator's Office has hired a former instructor at the training school, Donald Forbes, as a part-time Deputy Coordinator. Forbes will schedule training classes and oversee building and equipment maintenance.

For information, call the Fire Coordinator's Office at 591-9142 or 1-877-675-1588.

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