New fire training center opens in Calif.
The five-story, $4 million training facility in Fremont features a trench rescue area and tunnels, among other training facilities
By Ben Aguirre Jr.
The Oakland Tribune via The Contra Costa Times
FREMONT, Calif. — When people call for their firefighters, they expect them to be prepared.
A new training facility built in Fremont should help ensure that.
A five-story, $4 million training facility has opened at the west end of Stevenson Boulevard, affording local firefighters the opportunity to get better at their craft.
In addition to the training structure, the 2-acre site includes a 32-person classroom building.
The land also features a trench rescue area and tunnels, and has enough open space that firefighters are able to do almost any type of training imaginable.
"We could land a helicopter here if we wanted," said Deputy Fire Chief Ron Maize, who also is in charge of firefighter training.
The facility, at 7200 Stevenson Blvd., was built with funds from Measure R, a fire safety bond that was approved by voters in 2002.
The measure allowed the issuance of $51 million in general obligation bonds to replace three fire stations, upgrade seven existing facilities, and construct the training center.
Getting a state-of-the-art facility was imperative for firefighters, to whom training is critical, Maize said.
"Training is everything," he said. "It's beneficial (for the firefighters') personal development, and for preparedness for everyone."
The new structure replaces a 47-year-old tower that still stands near Grimmer Boulevard and Auto Mall Parkway.
They differ in the fact that the new one offers more lifelike scenarios for firefighters, and provides for a wide range of activities, including cutting into roofs, searching smoke-filled rooms, and rappelling off the side of the building.
In addition to training current firefighters, the facility also will be used for hiring and promotional testing, Maize said.
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