mc fire academy freeholdersPHOTO: Monmouth County staff joined the Board of Chosen Freeholders at the Monmouth County Fire Academy for an on-site inspection of the new facility being constructed in Howell – left to right.  County staff: Principal engineer Michael Aravich; County Engineer Joseph M. Ettore, P.E ; Director of Public Works John Tobia, Senior Engineer Susan Molzon; Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso; Freeholder Lillian G. Burry; Freeholder John P. Curley, Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone; and Monmouth County Fire Marshal Kevin Stout.

HOWELL, NJ - Construction of the new Monmouth County Fire Academy Training Center commenced in October. The 3,900 square foot pre-manufactured building has been specifically designed for fire training exercises and simulations and offers numerous features not available at the current facility. The modernized Center will feature a four-story tower, a two-story reproduction of retail and residential building layouts, as well as a one-story section. The orientation of the building will allow fire trucks and ladders to access all four sides of the building. In addition, firehoses will be able to operate inside the building through the use of a new standpipe and sprinkler system that can be hooked up to fire trucks or a water supply.  

The new facility will allow firefighters to train under a variety of different conditions and potential building configurations, proving more in-depth training capability. The facility will have both a flat and sloped roof as well as moveable walls and doors, allowing for changes in the interior layout. In addition, several burn rooms will be lined with panels that are able to withstand extremely high temperatures, allowing them to be filled with smoke. Training props, including forcible entry doors, roof cut-outs and rappelling anchors will offer additional enhanced training opportunities.

Freeholder John P. Curley, freeholder liaison to the Fire Academy, explained, “As the demand for fire training continues to increase in the county, we are pleased to announce that construction has started on our new fire training facility. Allowing for more training classes and a wider range of exercises and drills, the new, upgraded Center will allow the brave firefighters serving our community to continue to receive the level of training and preparation they need and deserve.”

The new facility, which is estimated to cost $1,773,800, will replace an older two-story concrete block building which was placed out of commission from decades of use. The project will also include structural repairs to the existing training building, which has been compromised as a result of the exposure to high temperatures and frequent use. The estimated date of completion is April of 2017.

Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said, “We are proud to be providing the dedicated firefighters of Monmouth County with this state-of-the-art facility. These heroic men and women risk their lives for our residents and their property every day and it is our mission to provide them with the best possible training facility available.”

On Oct. 26, Arnone and Curley were joined by Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso and Freeholder Lillian G. Burry at the construction site for a tour and update on the construction status.