Congressman Richard E. Neal, Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Andrew Peck, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and public safety and fire officials dedicated a new Search and Rescue Training Prop at the Department of Fire Services’ Springfield campus. The prop was funded by a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The new training prop allows firefighters to practice searching for and rescuing victims in a fire without taking the live fire training building out of service. In addition, this new prop has one room where live fire training can also take place. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “This prop increases the flexibility of the training schedule particularly for the Career and the Call/Volunteer Firefighter Recruit Firefighter Training Programs and for the Springfield Fire Department.”
“Congratulations to the Department of Fire Services’ Springfield campus for securing the federal funding from the United States Fire Administration to open this important facility where lifesaving training will occur,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “Firefighters constantly face new challenges. When we help them train to face them, they are better able to protect their communities. An investment in training is an investment in every community in the Commonwealth. I am proud to be a partner on the federal level.”
“Training saves lives, and training sites like this one help save the lives of firefighters and the people who count on them,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco. “We’re deeply grateful to Fire Marshal Ostroskey, his team, and the local, state, and federal partners whose hard work is helping to deliver consistent training to firefighters at all state fire training facilities.”
“This facility is an incredible example of a local, state and federal partnership that works and pays real dividends to the cities and towns of Massachusetts. I want to thank all our partners for improving our ability to train our firefighters who put themselves on the line for us every day,” said Springfield Mayor Sarno.
“This training facility has made the rigorous training the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy offers more accessible to firefighters in western Massachusetts,” said Northampton Fire Chief Duane Nichols, representing the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs’ Association. He added, “It has also made training more available statewide as more classes can be held allowing new hires to be trained sooner.”
State firefighting academies have been eligible for federal Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) for only six years. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy has been successful each year and received a total of $2.4 million in funding for vital training resources. Several training props funded by the AFG program were on display: the forcible entry prop, the maze trailer, the flashover training prop, and the new search and rescue training prop. The search and rescue training prop was funded by a $434,783 federal fiscal year 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.