BOSTON, Mass. -- A presentation ceremony was held on Tuesday, July 20 at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord, New Hampshire. The event marks the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) commitment of $100,000 to assist in the construction of a state-of-the-art collapse rescue training facility on the campus of the New Hampshire Fire Academy.
"This facility will help to significantly improve the skills of emergency personnel in New Hampshire, protecting their lives and the lives of the people they are called on to rescue," said Woodbury P. Fogg, P.E., Director of the New Hampshire Office Emergency Management (NHOEM). " It will also serve as a national model for police and rescue personnel to train together, because a collapsed building can be a crime scene as well as a disaster," stated Fogg.
The project is a collaboration among the New Hampshire Fire Academy, University of New Hampshire School of Civil Engineering, the State of New Hampshire Department of Public Safety, the NHOEM (which will administer the project) and support from the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation.
"The collapse of buildings may result from a variety of natural causes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, or from man-made circumstances such as construction deficiencies, neglect, aging infrastructure, or acts of terrorism which can happen in New Hampshire," observed Jeffrey A. Bean, Regional Director for FEMA in Boston. "FEMA supports this project and shares the commitment to reduce vulnerability, minimize damages, prevent loss and build sustainable disaster resistant communities in New England through training and education," added Bean.
New Hampshire has a population of more than 1.8 million with 10,000 fire and emergency medical personnel, most of whom are volunteer responders. The collapse facility will provide these rescue workers with lifesaving skills needed in emergency situations. The facility is scheduled for completion next spring.
"This facility will give police and fire officials the training they need to work together, stay safe, rescue victims and preserve evidence in the event of a building collapse," Governor Jeanne Shaheen, said. "We're pleased it will be located at the New Hampshire Fire Academy. It will be a tremendous asset in the training not only of our emergency workers, but also for emergency workers from all over New England," the Governor added.
The Fire Academy has been working closely with the FBI, FEMA, NHOEM, State law enforcement officials and the National Fire Academy in developing courses and seminars to meet the needs of emergency and non-emergency responders throughout the state.
"The New Hampshire Fire Academy recognizes that its primary mission is to increase the capacity of the entire New Hampshire Fire Service through efficient research, development, delivery and administration all aspects of fire training and education," stated Richard Mason, Director of the New Hampshire Fire Academy.