Fire departments hoping for county training centre

Darrell Cole
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HALIFAX - A fire training site, proposed for the Oxford area, would go a long way towards easing the stress on Cumberland County firefighters waiting for training at the only training centre in the province, located in Waverly.
"We don't have a big issue with training but we have many of the same problems other have in scheduling for the fire school," Amherst fire chief Bill Crossman said Thursday. "We do most of our training in-house but for some things we send our firefighters to Waverly."
Crossman was in Halifax on Thursday lobbying for funding for the proposed Cumberland County training centre.
A report released earlier this week suggests that many Nova Scotia firefighters are on the job without proper training. The report of the Nova Scotia Fire Services Training Committee calls for the replacement of the Waverley training centre, built in 1967, with a new and expanded facility as well as fire training sites in Halifax, Cape Breton, Yarmouth, Cumberland County and northeast Nova Scotia.
Depending on funding, Crossman said preparation work would begin immediately and continue over five years. He hopes to get something up and running within the first year.
"The idea of training sites is so no firefighter in Nova Scotia would have to travel more than 90 minutes for training," Crossman said.
Originally, the former pumping station property in Brookdale was being considered for the training centre but that concept had to be abandoned after vandals caused extensive damage to the property.
Crossman said his department has a good training program in place backed up with policies on what firefighters can and can't do depending on their training level. As well, he said, the department has a safety officer in place to make sure all firefighters receive training.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Fire Services Training Committee

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia Waverly Oxford Cape Breton Yarmouth Brookdale

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