The Western Maine Public Safety Training Facility is being built off Seamon Road in Farmington. It will be 2½ stories with a four-story training tower and two, live-fire burn rooms. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — The Western Maine Public Safety Training Facility, a regional live-fire training building, is being constructed off Seamon Road.

Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell believes it should be completed by the end of June. Once finished, there will be training on how to operate the building.

Maine Fire Protection Services Commission awarded the Farmington Fire Rescue Department a $539,964 grant in July 2019 to build the 2½-story steel building with an attached four-story, training tower, Bell said. The Maine Fire Service Institute drew up bid specifications and Farmington applied for one of the two designs for the building.

It has two burn rooms with special fire safety insulated panel system to contain the fire and to allow the burn rooms to be used multiple times, fire Capt. Tim “TD” Hardy said.

It is for all aspects of fire training, he said.

There are specific items that would be allowed to be burned in the building for training purposes, including wood pallets, hay and straw, Bell said.


There is also a ventilation simulator system in the building, Hardy said.

Among the training exercises that could be done are confined rescues and rappelling drills.

John Churchill, left, instructor of the Foster Career and Technical Education Center, and Terry Bell, Farmington Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell, watch progress of the construction of the Western Maine Public Safety Training Facility in Farmington on June 4. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The long-term goal is to have concrete and concrete pads outside the building to provide training for extrication from vehicles and to handle hazards, Hardy said.

The concept and plan for the training facility started about 11 years ago. Bell received permission from the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors in 2014 to use about 1 acre of the district’s property for the training facility, located between Mt. Blue Campus and the district’s practice fields off Seamon Road.

Students in the Firefighting Program at Foster Career and Technical Educational Center will also use the building for training, instructor John Churchill said.

“It is going to be a big asset to fire training statewide,” Bell said.


Fire Facilities Inc. in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, manufactured the building. The Maine Fire Service Institute handled the bidding and contract award for the project. J. Reed Constructors Inc. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which specializes in building live-fire training facilities, is constructing the building.

The building will meet the standards of the National Fire Protection Association, Bell said.

In 2018, the 128th Legislature created a law that established a fund to support construction and repair or replacement of regional live-fire service training facilities in Maine.

The facility will also be used by other fire departments and public safety agencies.

A Western Maine Public Safety Training Facility group made up of personnel from police and fire departments, Foster center and administrators from Regional School Unit 9 was formed prior to the grant application being submitted. Memorandums of understanding were also submitted by fire departments in New Portland, Livermore Falls, Dixfield, Peru, Wayne and Vienna.



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