Construction begins on new training center at fire academy

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HOWELL – Construction of the new Monmouth County Fire Academy training center is underway.

The 3,900-square-foot pre-manufactured building has been specifically designed for fire training exercises and simulations, and offers numerous features not available at the current Monmouth County Fire Academy, Route 33, Howell, according to a press release from the county.

The new training center will feature a four-story tower, a two-story reproduction of retail and residential building layouts, as well as a one-story section. The orientation of the building will allow fire trucks and ladders to access all four sides of the building.

In addition, fire hoses will be able to operate inside the building through the use of a new standpipe and sprinkler system that can be hooked up to fire trucks or a water supply, according to the press release.

The new facility will allow firefighters to train under a variety of conditions and potential building configurations, proving more in-depth training capability. The facility will have a flat roof and a sloped roof, as well as moveable walls and doors, allowing for changes in the interior layout.

In addition, several burn rooms will be lined with panels that are able to withstand extremely high temperatures, allowing them to be filled with smoke. Training props, including forcible entry doors, roof cut-outs and rappelling anchors will offer additional enhanced training opportunities, according to the press release.

Freeholder John P. Curley, freeholder liaison to the fire academy, said, “As the demand for fire training continues to increase in the county, we are pleased to announce that construction has started on our new fire training facility. Allowing for more training classes and a wider range of exercises and drills, the new upgraded center will allow the brave firefighters serving our community  to continue to receive the level of training and preparation they need and deserve.”

The new facility, which is estimated to cost $1.77 million, will replace a two-story concrete block building which was placed out of commission following decades of use. The project will also include structural repairs to the existing training building, which has been compromised as a result of the exposure to high temperatures and frequent use. The estimated date of completion for the new training center is April 2017, according to the press release.