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HJC may develop fire training center

November 26, 1997

HJC may develop fire training center

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

Hagerstown Junior College officials are considering building a fire training center for local fire departments, although the discussions are in the early stages.

HJC President Norman Shea said there are several reasons why a fire training center would work at the college. First, the college has plenty of open land, and there is state and federal funding available for the project, said Shea, who discussed the idea during the regular HJC Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday.

Shea said the building could include classroom space and enough room to simulate fire emergencies.

Washington County volunteer fire departments have wanted a training center that is bigger than that of the City of Hagerstown, which volunteer squads use for much of their training.

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City officials have expressed concern about building a second training center.

Shea said the college's proposal could be the "missing piece" in how to expand facilities.

He said the next step would be to bring together city and county leaders to see if there is support for the idea. "I don't even know if they want it," said Shea.

Shea, Bob Cumberland, administrative planner for Washington County Fire and Rescue, and another college official met Monday to discuss the idea, Cumberland said.

Cumberland declined to speculate on the proposal. He said discussions would have to be held with local fire departments to determine how everybody feels about the idea.

"As far as what's to come down the line, we will have to meet about that. It was just a preliminary discussion," said Cumberland.

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