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Two houses donated to Colonie for fire and police training

A video system will be installed as well so the department will not have to fit 30 other people in the room to observe. This would allow them to watch from a monitor in another room or in a classroom building, Lattanzio said.

Electricity will also be installed but there will be no heating or running water for either of the houses. Lattanzio said the department will be working with solar companies involved to donate solar panels so the firefighters can become familiar with new technologies and experience the pitfalls of them.

Lattanzio said they are also looking to have a sprinkler system installed, which would be donated by a local company, and also CDTA will be donating a bus. Telephone poles and a catch basin will also be added to the facility, allowing the department to create different situations such as evidence being thrown down a storm drain or an automobile accident.

"We're putting in a four way intersection so we can do an accident investigation course," he said. "We can simulate an accident in the intersection for them. That way we can do the class and not have to worry about the ongoing environment where traffic goes through. It makes for a safer environment."

The houses are currently being used by the police department's Special Services Team and SWAT teams in Troy and Schenectady along with some of the fire departments. Colonie Police Chief Steve Heider called the effort of constructing this facility an impressive one, and said it will be set up as a streetscape environment.

"It's rare when we get to train under real circumstances meaning real houses, with real basements that have real second floors," he said. "We need that real training."

Heider said in the past that they have used several buildings before to achieve the proper training, but now the town has two houses to themselves. It is a different than an antique building, he said, as opposed to a home with the real obstacles a family residence generally has to trip over.

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