FREMONT (KCBS) – A $4 million, state-of-the-art firefighter training center has opened in Fremont, replacing another facility that’s almost 50 years old.

The new facility was built on a two-acre site off Stevenson Blvd. Included in the construction was a 5-story fire training tower. That tower was designed specifically to help firefighters prepare for the types of blazes and buildings they were likely to encounter on the job.

“It has a series of different types of rooms. On one side of the tower it was specifically designed to look like garden style apartments that we have in Fremont,” explained Fremont Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Ron Maize. “The other side is more commercial type for laddering, bailing out of windows, stuff like that.”

The tower was essentially designed to replicate real life scenarios.

“We’re going to be able to actually use this training center and props to simulate climbing five stories, cutting on roofs, going underground to make a rescue, these are things that we cannot really effectively practice and hone in on our skills unless we have the proper tools to do it,” Maize explained.

Maize was confident the tower would be put to good use by the entire department.

“This facility is going to provide them the real life simulation sites that we just can’t make up standing in a parking lot,” he reiterated. “You’ve actually got to climb five stories to put a fire out, you’ve actually got to rappel five stories. You’re actually going to go underground to do a rescue.”

The facility was built with funds generated by a bond measure passed by voters in 2002.

“It was a $51 million bond,” Maize said. “And it was specifically set up to rebuild or replace three fire stations, retrofit seven fire stations seismically, and it included a public safety training center.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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