Photos: $6M emergency services training complex opens in N.Y.
The Rensselaer County facility includes a smoke maze, live fire displays, digital fire displays, combustible displays and classroom space
By Michael Gwizdala
NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y. — Rensselaer County opened its new state-of-the-art emergency services training complex Thursday morning.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin called it another huge step by his administration to modernize county government and services. The new complex is located on the grounds of the former site on Macha Lane in North Greenbush.
During a press conference at the site, Rensselaer County Director of Public Safety, Jay Wilson, lauded the new amenities and operational capabilities the facility has to offer for training.
"This facility was designed to provide our first responders with the most efficient and up-to-date educational offering available today," Wilson remarked.
Included in those offering are live fire displays, digital fire displays, various combustible displays and exercises, and a state-of-the-art control system. The complex additionally encompasses a smoke maze. Plus, the education building features large classroom space and instructional displays.
The training complex cost nearly $6 million to build, with support provided by the Rensselaer County Legislature for the project proposed by McLaughlin. The complex includes three buildings, a building for fire training, a second education building with a large classroom space with a kitchen and conference space, and a third building with a storage facility. The complex will be able to house multiple classes and sessions for various departments simultaneously.
"I'm proud to be in a position today to oversee this complex to train the next generation of Rensselaer County firefighters and first responders," Wilson added.
Director of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, Tim Boel, echoed Wilson's sentiments about the facility.
"One of the things that is nice about this complex is what it will do for emergency services," Boel said.
"This facility is second to none and that doesn't come easy because there's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from every person in emergency services here in Rensselaer County and beyond that made this facility happen," Boel added.
McLaughlin explained the importance of the new facility to first responders and residents alike. He noted that neighboring fire departments have already called his office inquiring about using the facility. The County Executive added that having the complex here also means that first responders won't have to travel as far away as Utica to work on and complete their training.
"We believe this center is certainly among the best in the state, maybe even among the best in the whole nation. It's state of the art and I'm certainly excited to be joining with everybody here today," McLaughlin remarked.
"Any of the fire services, emergency services personnel know the shape of the previous buildings that were here and it just simply needed to be done. I've often said we owe our folks in emergency services, those brave men and women and their families too, we owe them a huge debt of gratitude, hopefully, this is a great show of respect and appreciation and admiration for what they do to keep our families out there really safe," McLaughlin noted.
"Today we've helped ensure our emergency services have the training and skills and the education they need to respond to any call and ensure care and compassion can be provided under what are always difficult circumstances. This project's also really important because it's a promise kept to our emergency services and residents," McLaughlin added.
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