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San Jose unveils new state-of-the-art fire training center

South Bay firefighters are getting a new training center that has been decades in the making.

The new state-of-the-art fire training tower opened in San Jose on Thursday.

“So we need to make sure that we’re protecting them too by giving them the tools, the training, and the support required to keep them safe so they can keep us safe,” San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said.

San Jose Fire Department Chief Robert Sapien said the site will be thoroughly used and has been badly needed.

“Believe it or not, I’ve been in the department almost 35 years now and our training center was old when I started,” Sapien said. “So we’re in a facility that’s been long overdue.”

San Jose’s new training tower is different from other facilities the fire department has had because it can be used to simulate emergency scenarios specific to the city.

“It offers multiple configurations and mimics a lot of the environments that we’ll find out in the field,” Sapien said. “So there are components of our training tower that are built for residential type structures. There are components that mimic high-rise structures.”

In a building next door there are new classrooms for cadets, along with a new fire engine pump simulator that only a few west coast departments have. There is also a brand new emergency operations center.

“It’s a space for city employees to monitor emergency situations, communicate to the public, and quickly disseminate resources,” San Jose City Manager Jennifer Maguire said.

The site also features a large communications tower that could send vital information during a disaster.

The new facility was paid for with Measure T funds, which voters passed in 2018.

Sapien said since training is such a huge part of a firefighter’s job, the upgrades will lead to a safer San Jose.

“It will prepare our firefighters for whatever they confront in our community,” Sapien said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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