East Providence Fire Department nears final approval of new training facility plans

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EAST PROVIDENCE — East Providence Fire Department Chief Joseph Klucznik and Lt. Mike Carey will spend three days in Phoenix, Ariz., this week ironing out the last remaining details of a new customized training facility to be built in city.

Chief Klucznik said he and Lt. Carey will make one, final in-person review of plan specifications for the facility, which will be constructed on the grounds of the Public Works Department Central Garage on Commerical Way. The concrete slab where the structure will sit has already been poured. The actual building is being pre-fabricated by American Fire Training Systems Inc.

The new structure is being planned specific to the needs of the EPFD and will allow it unprecedented ability to train its firefighters. The chief called the facility "state of the art." It will include, among other features, a live burn area and can also handle situational training for such things as hazardous materials.

"Once this in done, we're going to be the only department around with this type of facility," Chief Klucznik said.

The chief said he expects other fire departments throughout the area to seek use of the facility for its training purposes. In the spirit of cooperation and sharing of services, he added he would open and willing to give his firefighting brethren access to the structure, likely coming with some sort of rental fee.

As it is, the new training structure comes at a minimal cost to the city, considering the benefits. Chief Klucznik said East Providence had to kick in $43,000 to the project, or 10 percent of the necessary funding. The rest came through federal grant programs, with Lt. Carey serving as the lead writer.

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