CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – For anyone interested in becoming a firefighter, a new training ground is ready.
The final phase of the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Fire Training Center was revealed on Monday. It will serve current and future firefighters in the community.
The ribbon was cut and the speeches were delivered. Now, the MCCTC Fire Training Center is fully equipped to train the next generation of firefighters.
“Being here at our own fire station, we’re starting this lifelong process of what it’s like to be a firefighter,” said Andy Frost, public safety coordinator for the MCCTC.
Admittedly, students have been learning at the center for some time. There was just one key element missing, the classroom.
“We were traveling in a classroom, inside the building. There were no toilets here, so it really allowed us to teach and do whatever we needed to do,” said MCCTC Superintendent John Zehentbauer.
State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon spoke at Monday’s event. He mentioned that he travels all over the state, speaking to different departments. They are all facing the same problem, they need more firefighters.
“The biggest issue in recruiting firefighters right now is with the volunteer community, which makes up 70 percent of our fire departments in Ohio,” Reardon said.
“So when they come here, they see the technology and they see the camaraderie. They see it all. We hope this will be a stepping stone to staying in this field and staying in this community,” Frost said.
However, these young men and women have vital needs to help with their education, because the training of a firefighter never stops.
“We can provide specialized training to all of our veteran firefighters. So we really didn’t have the ability to do it, so now we can do it,” Frost said.