Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new live-fire training building on the grounds of the Dutchess County Emergency Response E-911 Center located on Creek Road in the Town of Hyde Park. The Fairview Fire Department was also on hand to conduct a live demonstration of the new facility for the community and the media.
“Working together to strengthen our public safety resources in Dutchess County continues to ensure the safety and security for our emergency professionals, our volunteers and our residents,” said Steinhaus. “The completion of this facility exemplifies the County’s commitment to public safety in Dutchess. We have spearheaded many initiatives, such as our Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and the funding we’ve secured and contributed to ensure that all E-911 cellular calls are received and dispatched from the County’s E-911 center. We have also championed our initiative to implement enhanced E-911 which will allow our E-911 center to identify the actual geographic location of E-911 calls from cellular users,” he added.
The existing training building at the County’s Fire Training Facility on Creek Road in Hyde Park is a 30 year old two-story concrete structure used to train career and volunteer firefighters under actual “live” fire conditions. In the spring of 2002, this two-story burn building displayed signs of structural problems. A structural survey and evaluation estimated repair costs between $236,000 - $326,000. After further review a decision was made to build a new versatile and updated structure that would be most cost effective in the long-term. At the request of the County Executive, the County Legislature passed a $575,000 bond resolution in July of 2003.
“The new structure will provide a real training challenge for the many volunteers in our community who risk their lives to protect the lives and property of our residents,” noted Steinhaus.
Dutchess County Emergency Response Director, DeWitt Sagendorph explained, “The new building will facilitate both offensive and defensive training. Plans were developed for four burn rooms located at different levels in this multi-story structure, allowing for more realistic situations encountered in single and multiple residential structures. A roof simulator for ventilation exercises where the roof must be physically cut with a power saw is included. The roof is also on a slant or pitch simulating an actual roof.”
With minor demolition and repair work the old building can be converted to a Mask Confidence / Maze building. No fire will be used but firefighters can train on rescues of trapped people using no smoke at all or synthetic smoke. This "cold" type training allows the firefighter a controlled environment to build their confidence wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus and making rescues in an environment that is totally "black" as a live fire would be.
Steinhaus concluded, “Setting up the old building for cold type training at virtually no cost will increase our ability to not only train firefighters, but police and EMS as well.”
The project was designed by local architectural firm of Liscum, McCormick and VanVoorhis, LLP and construction was done by the low bidder, William Manfredi Construction Corporation, both of Poughkeepsie.