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One Million Dollar Fire Training Facility Unveiled

By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-830322.mp3

Cheektowaga, NY – Erie County and Buffalo officials Tuesday unveiled the new live burn building that will be used to train fire fighters across the region.

The backdrop of the press conference itself was an eery reminder of why the new facility is needed. The last time the group of county and city elected leaders and first responders gathered in the county's emergency operations center was for briefings on the crash of flight 3407. Erie County Executive Chris Collins said the tragedy is ample evidence of why having a state of the art training facility is crucial.

As many as 4,000 fire fighters from Buffalo, other professional municipal fire companies, and 94 volunteer fire companies will use the facility each year.

The new one-million dollar tower replaces the 40-year old building previously used for training. Officials said the new structure uses the latest in construction technology to make it both safe and realistic for rescue training. Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Skibitsky said this is a valuable piece of equipment - for fire fighters and for those who they protect.

Firefighters Tuesday conducted a demonstration of a rescue from one of the upper floors of the new building. Officials said the structure will provide training for decades to come.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.