For around a decade, the Orrington Fire and Rescue squad used an old donated trailer from the 1960s to practice the skills needed to fight a house fire.
“Years ago we had a trailer here that just rotted out from underneath us so we started to fundraise,” said Fire Chief Scott Stewart.
“With the Orrington Fire and Rescue Association we were able to raise the funds in approximately three months and that brings us here today,” said Assistant Chief Chad Bean.
The group also got in-kind donations from several local businesses and the town's public works crews helped with the training center's foundation.
The official hose uncoupling took place after the speeches ended, with the fire chief, Orrington Fire and Rescue Association president, a retired 38-year veteran firefighter, and town officials holding the fire hose.
“This gives our firefighters the ability to train on a regular basis with a realistic scenario,” Stewart said.
“With this building, we can do anything,” Bean said. “We have a smoke machine and we can smoke it up and practice searching in a smoke-filled environment to rescue victims. We can drag hoses through here. We can throw ladders. We can rescue people from ladders. There is a whole host of things we can use this facility for.”
The estimated cost to construct the training center was around $20,000. Other local firefighters from neighboring towns also will benefit.
“We have a very strong mutual aid pack over on this side of the river - Brewer, Holden, Eddington, Orrington, Dedham, Bucksport,” Bean said. “We all train regularly. We know each other. We're doing the job together so the more we can train together, the better off everyone is gonna be because we'll just be that much stronger.”