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Grants sought for site to train firefighters

Niagara County is seeking grant funding for a training center for firefighters at the site of a onetime fire training tower in Niagara Falls.

A technical rescue training center is needed, said Legislator Jason A. Zona, D-Niagara Falls, who also is a captain in that city's Fire Department.

"We have already the perfect location the county owns," Zona said, referring to the old tower site on Hyde Park Boulevard. "The city has a technical rescue team with no training facility."

"By having a regional approach, it should open up more possibilities for funding," County Fire Coordinator and Emergency Management Director Jonathan F. Schultz said.

The work may piggyback on planned repairs to the operational fire training towers in Lockport and Wheatfield.

A structural engineering study is needed to determine if the towers require significant repairs. A need for heat sensors already has been shown.

Schultz said C&S Cos. of Syracuse will be paid $5,900 to carry out the tower studies.

In addition to the tower work, officials want to construct a training maze for firefighters in the Lockport tower's storage building. That may cost $8,000, according to a resolution that passed a Legislature committee last week.