MCCTC hosts ground breaking ceremony for new fire tower training facility

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Fire Tower and Training Facility.Members of the MCCTC school board and Austintown Fire Chief Andrew Frost III shoveled the first dirt at the new site for the school's Fire Tower and Training Facility set to be constructed by January 2020.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Superintendent John Zehentbauer addressed the crowd gathered outside of the school for the ground breaking ceremony for the new Fire Tower and Training Facility.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Fire departments from across Mahoning Valley were represented at MCCTC July 9 for the ground break ceremony on the upcoming Fire Tower and Training Facility.

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Fire Tower and Training Facility.Fire officials, MCCTC board members and local representatives gathered at the ground breaking ceremony for the school's Fire Tower and Training Facility July 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Representatives from local fire deprtments and members of the MCCTC school board gathered at the ground breaking site for the school's new Fire Tower and Training Facility July 9.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Mahoning County Career and Technical Center hosted a ground breaking ceremony for a new fire tower training facility on the campus on July 9.

School superintendent John Zehentbauer hosted the ceremony, which brought together local politicians, fire departments and MCCTC board members.

“I want to thank everyone that was involved in this project from its inception to the ground breaking,” Zehentbauer said.

The project, which will cost approximately $1.1 million, is set to be completed by January 2020.

Zehentbauer said that the goal of the facility is to provide a state of the art training area for everyone from local high school students to professional firefighters.

The school currently offers fire courses for both high school students and adults, and Zehentbauer said the facility will also offer free high school level training for local schools.

“It is important that our local firemen will have a safe, state of the art facility to train in that is close by,” Zehentbauer said.

Austintown Fire Chief Andrew Frost said that the facility will help local departments keep up on their training without having to travel.

“If someone wants to do a big training session in their department they can actually come out and use this facility, there was nowhere they could have gone and done that before,” Frost said.

He said that with shifting state laws it has become harder for departments to find facilities they can use to train for dangerous situations.

“We are going to be able to have these firefighters in these dangerous situations in a controlled setting, as opposed to in the field for the first time,” Frost said.

He also said he sees this facility as a way to engage the younger generation, in the hopes of recruiting younger members into the profession.

“We are making a big push right now to get this young kids back involved in this,” Frost said. “When you bring in technology and you bring in state of the art facilities you peak their interest, they don’t want the old stuff they want the new stuff.”

The project is funded by both state and federal money, with the school having about $565,000 already raised.

Zehentbauer said he expects MCCTC to match the grant money by 50 percent, but will offer $400,000 minimum.

He said that the new facility is just the first step in a potential long term project to increase training at MCCTC for all fire and police departments as well as first responders.

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