Middlesex County losing fire training school

(WTNH - Josh Scheinblum)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – The site of where an old Middletown trash incinerator once ran may seem like an unlikely place to find a center of education, but its on a spot just like that which has been helping firefighters who work in Middlesex County train for the last 24 years. On Friday class was in session.

This round of instruction brought together two different fire departments to the regional fire school, one from downtown Middletown, the other from the city’s South District. Those taking part practiced coordinating their efforts should disaster strike.

Michael Howley, a captain with South Fire District, says it’s important crews retain what they’re learning because part of the exercise required they demolish their classroom.

“We cut many holes in the roof, in the classroom section we’ve been breaching walls, giving the fire fighter some experience they don’t get to do every day,” said Howley.

It will be a long time before the firefighters that took part get a chance to do something like this again as the school is set to be taken down in order to make room from a new sewage pump. There are plans to build a new school on Mile Lane but fire officials say that would cost around $10-million and given the state’s current fiscal situation it isn’t likely the project will get off the ground anytime soon.

“It will have an impact on us that’s for sure,” said Jay Waron, director of training for the Middlesex County Fire School.

Waron says with no place in the county for firefighters to practice their trade like they have been able to do at the current school, departments in the county will have to go elsewhere. Waron thinks that will put a further strain on already hard to find municipal resources.

“Unfortunately it will cost those towns and fire departments a little more to train because we’ll have to rent out facilities,” said Waron.

Waron says one of the consequences for firefighters is they will receive less training, a far from ideal situation that the first responders we met say they aren’t going to let compromise public safety.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s