Posted on October 28, 2019 by jencusato
Representative Themis Klarides
Once constructed, the Valley Fire Chiefs Regional Training School (VFCRTS) will serve as a community staple by offering a place far beyond just training our volunteer fire fighters. Classrooms, technology, and facility buildings at this state of the art training school will serve TSA, Homeland Security, EMS, Law Enforcement, Fire Marshal Training, DEEP, Military, National Guard, school safety, and youth groups such as Girl and Boy Scouts of Connecticut.
Volunteer and professional fire fighters are expected to bring the highest level of skill to an emergency and very often risk life and limb to protect the lives of others. This critical skillset can only be developed and cultivated if they have a facility of their own. Whether a person is entry level, experienced, or pursuing continuing education courses to expand their expertise, having a Valley area facility allows our fire fighters to continually practice techniques, refine their skills, and be fully prepared when their community calls upon them in an emergency.
Currently, our volunteer fire fighters and those in training will travel on any given day throughout Connecticut in order to receive their full range of training. They do this without compensation and without travel expense reimbursement. Because they have no facility of their own they bring their computers, training equipment and miscellaneous items in rubber bins to each training site. Our fire fighters deserve better, they deserve their long promised funding.
Without a facility for the last 21 years, the VFCRTS has recently received a local push by Valley communities. Valley towns have banned together and have passed resolutions requesting that the long approved funding from the State finally be released so that the VRCRTS can be built.
The one year anniversary of candidates, and now Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov Susan Bysiewicz’s campaign declaration “that if elected, the Valley Fire Chiefs Regional Training School would get built” is a few weeks away. This long time bipartisan and community initiative needs to be funded and built. As we round out 2019, my hope along with all our Valley towns is that the VFCRTS will finally be listed on the next State Bond Committee agenda, and Governor Lamont will keep his word and release the funding for our fire fighters.