2021’s Top Stories: Fire training facility planned in Windsor

Published 2:33 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

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From November 24, 2021

WINDSOR – As the old saying goes: “practice makes perfect.”

Local firemen will be able to soon sharpen their skills here at a fire training facility. A groundbreaking for that facility was held on Nov. 16 on property deeded from Bertie County to the Town of Windsor.

The facility will be located on County Farm Road, adjacent to the EMS Building.

“We’ve never had a fire training facility in Bertie County that I know of,” said Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard who presided over the groundbreaking ceremony that included town and county officials.

“With the advent of tall grain bins and other tall structures, we needed a ladder truck, but we also discovered we needed training in how to fight fires in structures that are high off the ground,” Hoggard continued. “We started looking for a [training] site. In the meantime, Martin Community College gave us $20,000 for the containers. They will be set up like a high rise. We certainly appreciate that gift. It got the ball rolling.

“This was the best site we found and Bertie County was very gracious to give us this site,” the Mayor added.

Hoggard said that although the training facility is located in his town and will be beneficial for the Windsor firefighters, it will be made available for other local and out-of-county fire departments to use for training purposes.

“Generally, two, three or four fire departments train together and they are welcomed to come here. Plus we will open it for fire department from other counties to train,” Hoggard said.

“I want to thank everyone who had a hand in this facility,” he added.

“Bertie County is thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Tammy Lee, Chair of the Bertie Board of Commissioners. “(Commissioner) Ron Wesson was actually the chair when all of this took place and he signed the document (deed transferring ownership from the county to the town). We look forward to the day when training is taking place out here.”

Lee then presented the deed to Hoggard.

Metal containers will be stacked to give the facility the height needed for training purposes by ladder trucks. Those containers can be filled with scrapped household items, to include carpet, to give the firefighters a more life-like approach to their training.

“Because these containers are metal, fires can be repeatedly be set inside them,” Hoggard said after the groundbreaking ceremony. “All it will take is to clean-up any added items that were burned during the training exercise and it’s ready to use again.”


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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