Neighbors wary of fire training center

Glenville residents voiced their concerns over a proposed fire safety training center at a meeting held Wednesday, May 7, at the town municipal building.

Residents said that while they support the idea of the project, they are seeking reassurance that it is not going to cause problems for those who live nearby.

A proposal was first discussed last fall regarding a training center that would accommodate several different agencies around the area. Part of the 14-acre proposed site off of Vley Road would include an outdoor course for simulated fires along with an actual fire tower. Currently there are no structures on the site.

Scotia Fire Chief Richard Kasko, whose department would use the facility, said the fire training classes would be held on weekday evenings. He added the hours of operation would not create additional traffic during rush hour.

There would not be any type of late-night activity, and the center would not bring traffic in during busy times throughout the day, said Kasko.

The four-story building would be used by Schenectady County Community College, the Glenville Fire Training Facility Inc., the Schenectady Fire Department, Saint Clare's Hospital and the Zone Five Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy.

One of the reasons for the project is increasing demands on those who respond to emergency situations, according to East Glenville Fire District Chief Arnold Briscoe, who attended the meeting. He said firefighters are expected to know how to respond to hazardous material and structural collapses.

The project has already received $2.5 million in a grant for construction and another $550,000 for operational funds through state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Schenectady.

Don Jefts of Vley Road said his biggest concern is additional noise and lighting. He said he wants to make sure bright floodlights are not cast over his property.

"I don't want to feel as though my home is a part of this training facility, with lights and noise at different hours," said Jefts.

Dave Remsey of Ellis Hospital and chairman of the consortium of facility users assured the board that the primary use of the building would be to prepare rescue workers. Remsey said hay and straw are the main components of such a simulation.

"The consortium would be entrusted with assuring that all environmental and safety guidelines are met and maintained," said Remsey


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