June 15, 2009
County Emergency Response Training Center Is Now Operational
Contractors installed a section of the new roof on the “burn building” at the Oswego County Emergency Response Training Center last week. The former Niagara Mohawk Fire School in Oswego is now being used for live fire training by area industries and fire departments.
OSWEGO -- Oswego County's Emergency Response Training Center is now open for business.
The training center, formerly the Niagara Mohawk Fire School at 720 E. Seneca Street in Oswego, re-opened last fall as the Oswego County Emergency Response Training Center. Since then, two Firefighter I courses have been completed at the center, graduating more than 40 students.
The county acquired the property from National Grid last summer. The facility is being used for live fire training by several local fire departments and industries.
“Live fire training is a very important part of the training process, and for the past four years had to be conducted out of the county,” said Fire Coordinator John Hinds. “Over the past several months we have made tremendous progress in making sure the training facility is ready for use. The local fire companies have been very supportive of this effort.”
The Oswego County Legislature approved funding last year to repair and test equipment and make sure the facility is safe for students to use. Most recently, a new roof was installed on the two-story “burn building.” The structure is designed to train firefighters on extinguishing interior structural fires and exiting burning buildings. Instructors can operate up to five fires at the same time in the building.
“Altogether, the center contains 20 specialized props that can be used for all aspects of firefighter training in challenging conditions,” said Legislator Paul Santore, Oswego, chairman of the Legislature's Public Safety Committee. “Crews can practice ladder operations and extinguish pit fires, fires involving flammable liquids and gases such as propane, motor vehicle fires, and electrical transformer fires. A sprinkler lab gives students the chance to learn how to operate various industrial sprinklers.” The Emergency Response Training Center also includes a large classroom and a trailer that can be filled with smoke for air pack training and to give firefighters a sense of crawling through a structure with limited visibility.
The facility is also available to industrial costumers and was used by National Grid and other industries before it closed five years ago. Classes can be customized to meet an agency's needs, and the Fire Coordinator has several state-certified instructors on his staff to teach a variety of subjects.
“It's been a fantastic team effort to get this center operating again,” said Legislator Santore. “We've had wonderful support from former State Senator Jim Wright, Assemblymen Will Barclay and Dave Townsend, Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, and the fire services throughout Oswego County. Several county departments have also worked many hours to help get the facility up and running.”
In addition to Legislator Santore, District 16, members of the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee include vice chairwoman Linda Lockwood, District 11; Shawn Doyle, District 3; Mary Flett, District 17; Kevin Gardner, District 13; Margaret Kastler, District 1; and Lee Walker Jr., District 15.
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