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For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2012
Contact: 518-486-9846
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Department of State Cuts Ribbon on Warren-Washington County Emergency Services Training and Educational Center

Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government Dierdre “Dede” Scozzafava was joined today by Warren and Washington county officials and community leaders for the official opening of the Warren-Washington County Emergency Services Training and Educational Center in Queensbury, N.Y.

With the assistance of a grant from New York State’s Department of State, the counties today officially opened the first phase of the emergency services training facility.  This new facility will allow for the delivery of focused training for nearly 50 fire departments and numerous emergency services operations throughout the North Country. This project is expected to help keep firefighters' training up-to-date and boost membership in local fire departments.

“We are committed to ensuring efficiency and expediency in local government by encouraging consolidation and sharing of resources to better serve the people of our state,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “This new facility is a great example of what’s possible when communities work together for the benefit of its residents. On behalf of Governor Cuomo, I commend county representatives on their dedication to making this project a reality.”

“Cooperation is critical to the success of all New York.  I witnessed it firsthand in the aftermath of last year’s devastating storms,” said Deputy Secretary of State Scozzafava.  “The fire departments and emergency services facility in Warren and Washington County will serve as a model for other counties that will foster greater intermunicipal cooperation while lightening the burden of our local heroes who otherwise would have to travel far from home to take advantage of what will continue to grow here.”

Warren and Washington counties were declared state emergency disaster areas in 2005 due to the exceptionally high number of fatal boating accidents, mud slides, dam breaks and fires and again in 2011 after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.   As a result, Warren and Washington Counties agreed to work together cooperatively to build a shared emergency training center, which would provide a jointly operated inter-municipal facility to provide training services to benefit both counties.

In 2006, the New York Department of State awarded the counties a $400,000 grant to initiate planning and engineering of a multi-county emergency services training facility and to acquire a Mask Confidence Building for firefighters training. Nearly 75% of the grant helped pay for planning, design, environmental studies and engineering at the site,  about 25% of the grant funds were used by the counties to acquire the focal point of phase one, a Mask Confidence Building that firefighters will train in.

“Warren County is pleased to partner with Washington County on this important project.  It is vital that we provide our local emergency responders with a training facility that will help prepare them to respond both safely and effectively.  We again thank our emergency responders for their service to our community.” stated Warren County Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Dan Stec.

“I have been involved with the Fire Service for a little over 43 yrs. and for 40 of those years I have heard of and seen committees on a Training Center come and go due to lack of funding, location and whatever else.  Then when the Department of State grant became available it gave new life to a possible Training Center and here we are today. I find it to be very humbling and yet an honor to be a part of this exciting project for the Emergency Service of Warren and Washington County,” stated Ray Rathbum, Fire Coordinator for Washington County.

“We’re pleased to have this new facility available to our firefighters and other emergency responders in both Washington and Warren Counties,” stated Washington County Board of Supervisor’s Chairman John Rymph.  “This project is a good example of communities coming together for the benefit of all.”

The Emergency Training Center is a modular structure built from used steel shipping containers.  This new training building uses theatrical smoke and props to provide appropriate training for firefighters instead of using open flame tactics.  In addition, moveable walls will give instructors the ability to introduce unanticipated changes to the building to simulate the changes experienced during a fire or other emergency.