A Regional Fire & Rescue Training Center now under construction on Tom Starling Road in Cumberland County will be a world-class operation when completed, Fayetteville Technical Community College President Dr. Larry Keen told officials Monday.
Keen discussed the progress of the first phase of the project and future plans in a morning presentation to Cumberland County legislators, commissioners and fire chiefs, the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, the Chief State Fire Marshal, the Commander of the State Highway Patrol and FTCC trustees.
The group met at FTCC for a breakfast presentation, then traveled to the site to see the project.
The center is a joint project of FTCC and Cumberland County, which donated the 30-acre site in the county industrial park.
FTCC now offers well-regarded fire and rescue training programs for fire and emergency personnel from Cumberland County and the region. The new center, with much expanded and more specialized training, is expected to draw from a much broader area.
The first phase of the center, now under construction, includes a 24,000-square-foot building with classrooms, apparatus bays, simulation labs and offices; a technical rescue complex with a 4-story training tower; and a 3-story “burn building” where live burning exercises can be conducted. Barnhill Contracting Co. is the construction manager for the project.
Later phases of the project will include more specialized hands-on training areas.
Keen said the project will provide valuable training for firefighters from the region as well as an economic boost for the area because of the anticipated students traveling from farther away. He said the project would not be possible without the firm support of Cumberland County officials, county fire chiefs or the county’s legislative delegation.
“This is an exciting and important project for FTCC, for Cumberland County and for eastern North Carolina and beyond,” Keen said.