continued Training scenarios at the houses include search and rescue during heavy smoke, hostage negotiation, SWAT team deployments and forensic activities like fingerprint dusting or blood spatter analysis.
Relocation of the structures and filling them with objects will come at no cost to the town. Grant money acquired by the Albany County District Attorney Davis Soares and Assemblymen Bob Reilly and Jack McEneny covered the cost.
“They all saw the value of what we were trying to accomplish and understand the importance of training our personnel,” said Lattanzio. “They helped us achieve this goal; it’s been a collaborative effort from a lot of people.”
The training center already draws groups from across the Capital Region and state, including the town’s police department, fire services, EMS responders and 12 volunteer fire departments. It provided more than 50 government and corporate entities with training ground and clocked about 270,000 hours of training in the past six years, according to town officials.
The additional two homes are expected to attract even more interest and could bring in some cash for the town through rental charges for using the site for training.
“We could generate revenue there,” said Supervisor Paula Mahan. “It’s a nice improvement for the town.”
Emergency personnel are constantly training and Lattanzio said for certain courses or experiences unable to be offered in Colonie, a few people are sent out of town for it, which can get costly.
“We’ll be able to offer a wider variety of training and there may be some courses out there now we can’t get locally because we didn’t have a facility to do it,” said Lattanzio. “We can bring some specialized training here to the Capital District. … It will help keep costs down and improve training.”
Lattanzio said he hopes to have the homes ready for service by May or June at the very latest.
“I’m glad to see it’s all coming to fruition and am looking forward to the day we open these up for use,” he said.