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Ground broken on new $1.1 million fire training facility
July 17, 2019

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On Tuesday, July 9, ground was officially broken for the construction of a new $1.1 million fire training center at MCCTC's campus in Canfield. The new facility will include classrooms, a fire engine bay and a tower.

"This was the dream of my dad and the late Canfield Fire Chief Bob Tieche," said Austintown Fire Chief Andy Frost III, who also serves as an instructor at MCCTC. "I want to thank everyone on behalf of the fire service, including the board of education, who really got behind us."

On hand for the groundbreaking was Kathy Zook, from Eastgate, who serves as Appalachian Regional Commission Program Manager. She said the project easily qualified for both state and Federal funding.

"This project met the goal of having a ready workforce," she said. "It will provide training to 41 communities."

The new center will house classrooms and a station-garage area for storage of the school's fire engine as well as student fire-fighting gear. A second structure, or tower, will be used for live burns, search and rescue, rappelling, and more, which makes local fire chiefs happy.

"This [new facility] will give our department an opportunity to come out and do live burns," said Chief Mark Pitzer from Boardman. "Live burns are harder to do these days because of EPA restrictions."

He said Boardman is always hiring new people and the training the new facility will provide will get new people on the job quicker while helping current firefighters to stay current on educational hours required by the state.

Canfield Fire Chief Don Hutchison agreed on the ability to have live burns. He said it gets harder for a department to burn down an old structure because of the EPA requirements. He said he will be using the new facility.

"We are looking to get out here at least four times a year to train," he said.

Superintendent John Zehentbauer believes this facility will play a vital role in training firefighters to fill the ranks of the local departments.

"Currently many of the local fire departments have to travel to training facilities in Reynoldsburg or Canton, this facility will fill the needs of those departments in Northeast Ohio," he said.

The fire tower project is expected to be complete in January of 2020.

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