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Watkins fire department has new facility

WATKINS GLEN—It looks like a normal two story building, but it is actually the Watkins Glen Fire Department’s new training facility.
The building, located at 201 N. Perry St. with the fire house, was showcased at last week’s open house.  Fire Chief Dom Smith explained the fire department raised the funds to build the training structure.  He said the firefighters need to keep up with the mandates and criteria from the state and federal governments.  He explained it took over six months to raise the needed $14,000.
“We have to do training every year,” he said.  “But it’s tough to find a realistic building.”
Smith explained the Fire Academy in Montour Falls does offer a local training facility, but it is used by fire companies from all over New York.
“They have the whole state to teach,” he said.
With their own building, the Watkins Glen Fire Department can do monthly training sessions, which is planned.  Smith explained the training required to be a firefighter must be repeated every year.
He explained this building allows the firefighters to practice confined space rescue, safety and survival, and escape from a second story.  However, it’s not just for Watkins’ use.  Smith said the Burdett and Montour Falls fire companies have already used the facility for training in the last month.
Smith added public opinion of the facility has been positive.  He said it wouldn’t have been possible without the community, and he thanked them.


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