(Troy, NY) Today, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced the redevelopment of the
Rensselaer County Fire and EMS Training complex in the town of North Greenbush.
In 2018, at the direction of County Executive McLaughlin the Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety
impaneled a steering committee to specify the requirements of a new training facility after the current facility
was deemed structurally unsound. For over 35 years the county has operated a training center utilized by fire
companies from throughout Rensselaer County where they have received classroom and live-burn and related
training exercises. The shutdown of the existing facility resulted in local fire companies incurring unexpected
costs by being forced to seek alternative locations for training.
“As our county and communities continue to grow and thrive it is imperative that we provide the proper training
and tools to our first responders to ensure not just their own safety, but that of our residents and visitors, as
well,” stated County Executive McLaughlin.
The new complex, located on Macha Lane in the town of North Greenbush, will included a three-story, multifunction
scenario fire training simulator, classroom building to allow for education and training capabilities to
meet modern requirements, and a smoke maze building. The facility will continue to be operated by the
Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety and available for use by all fire and EMS personnel from
throughout the County and Capital Region.
“On behalf of the Rensselaer County Fire Chiefs Association, we’d like to thank the current County
administration for securing the funding and investing in the County’s fire training center. This commitment
clearly illustrates to the firefighters of Rensselaer County that the administration values our efforts by providing
a facility where we can train to better protect residents and their property,” added President Gary Roberts of the
Rensselaer County Fire Chiefs Association.
“We are a large, mostly rural county and the overwhelming majority of our firefighters and EMS professionals
are volunteers. Redeveloping our dated and unsafe fire training facilities will ensure these brave women and
men receive the training they require and at the lowest cost to the taxpayers. This redevelopment project is a
great example of how we at the County level seek ways to work with our local communities to share services,”
Today, the Fire Training Tower Steering Committee met with engineering specialists to begin the design
process of the complex. Funding for the initial stages of this process was made possible by a $400,000 grant
secured through New York State Senator Daphne Jordan’s office this year, with the initial funding being secured by predecessor Senator Kathy Marchione.
“Redevelopment of the Rensselaer County Fire and EMS Training complex is great news for North Greenbush and especially for Rensselaer County’s families and first responders because this new facility will further strengthen public safety and support local fire companies. From my first days as Senator for the 43rd District, securing this remaining SAM funding has been one of my top priorities and I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s been delivered. Under County Executive McLaughlin’s strong, proven leadership, taxpayers are being protected, our quality of life is always improving, and important public safety projects like this are getting done, resulting in our first responders having access to even better training so families and communities can be even safer. Great things are happening in Rensselaer County — and the best is yet to come,” Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I,Ref-Halfmoon) said.
The remainder of the funding for the redevelopment of the training complex is made possible through reinvestment of a portion of the 2018 county operating budget surplus funds. As previous reported, McLaughlin announced record surplus funds added to the County’s fund balance in 2018 through sound fiscal policies to deliver cost effective and efficient government services. In partnership with the County Legislature, surplus funds are also being reinvested into the 2019 County Highway Improvement Program and to purchase new highway machinery.
“As a longtime volunteer firefighter in Rensselaer, I know the importance of the county Training Tower. This important project, supported by the County Legislature at every phase, will ensure current and future generations of county firefighters and emergency personnel are able to continue to provide the same high-level of life-saving and rescue services that benefit us all,” said Chairman of the Legislature Mike Stammel.
The redevelopment of the Rensselaer County Fire and EMS Training Complex planning will continue over the next few months with the hopes of breaking ground by the fall.