The new fire training center includes a rapid water rescue facility. What it might look like. – GV Wire

Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis has long wanted a first-class fire training facility, for more than two decades according to her story. Thanks to the money provided by the state budget, she will get it.

“Finally, after so many years, the call to invest in the Central Valley Fire Department has been heard,” Donis said. “The Regional Fire Training Center will serve the Central Valley and the entire region of the Fire Department and its members for years and generations to come.”

The city announced public funding of $ 25 million at a ceremony at the proposed location on Central and Hayes avenues, southwest of the city. The state-of-the-art facility will be built on 80 acres of city-owned land, adjacent to the existing police training center.

“My goal is never to lose a firefighter in the line of duty – easy to say, hard to do. And that requires us to put our money where our goals are, which is to be able to build this training center for them, not only for our Fresno fire department, but for all of our regional firefighters that go on. enjoy, ”said Mayor Jerry Dyer.

The only water rescue training in the west

The new fire training center would replace the current 85-year-old site. It would also be able to accommodate 10 times more trainees at a time, up to 200 against 20 currently.

Firefighters would be trained in handling hazardous materials, search and rescue and rail emergencies. But, Donis was most excited about the fast water rescue training. It would be the only such facility in West Texas.

“It will be a prime destination for fire training in the Central Valley and on the West Coast.

WATCH: Whitewater Training Course – Fort Worth, Texas

No firm schedule on construction

Dyer said there is no specific timeline on when the training center will be built, as it depends on when the state money arrives. The city has already invested approximately $ 400,000 in the design of the facility. Dyer expects construction to take 18 months once started.

While the money will flow through the City of Fresno, the Fire Training Center will be open to Central Valley area fire departments at no additional cost as it is funded by state money. However, other fire departments may participate in the training of instructors.

“I am one of the cooperative partners in the region that this fire training center will have a huge impact on,” Kingsburg Fire Chief Daniel Perkins said.

Dyer said building a larger training facility near Fresno would keep firefighters closer to home.

“The more they travel, the less they fight fires,” Dyer said.

The new Fresno Fire Training Center is expected to include a unique on-site whitewater rescue course. (GV Wire / Jahz Tello)

Senator Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, who helped secure the funding, said funding for training is one way to tackle climate change by preparing for fires.

“It will be an investment for all of California, not just the Central Valley, not just Fresno. Because an investment in Fresno, an investment in the Central Valley is an investment in all of California, ”Hurtado said.

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