WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A ceremony volunteer firefighters from all over Schuylkill County have been waiting for... The ribbon cutting of the Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters Association's burn building.
Firefighters train in this building with real flames and smoke to prepare them for life and death situations in the field.
"Some of it is set up for row home fires as it would be in most people's homes, especially in our area. and then we also have an industrial side to it too which the floors plans open up to an open area which mimics a warehouse fire," says Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighter Association's president Chief David Sattizahn.
Officials with the Schuylkill County Volunteer Firefighters Association tell Newswatch 16 this building will not just be used by firefighters training to fight fires, it will also be used by police and EMS.
"Task forces come here to participate, EMS, other divisions of fire departments from cities, plus also the state police come here also and they do their CERT teams and other rescues like that in this building," adds Sattizahn.
Many firefighters and their families came out to celebrate the burn building's dedication. Abigail Davis is an aspiring firefighter from Shenandoah she says having a burn building is important for safety.
"It means a lot to us firefighters because it gives us training for who we are and what we do. Cause we don't always get training every day cause let's hope there's no fires everyday," says Davis.
Volunteers worked with state and local government officials to raise the $1.6 million for the burn building.
"Takes a lot of dedication, volunteer work no one's here with a salary it's all volunteer work and a lot of dedication goes into this building. dedication and time," adds Davis.
Hands-on training in the burn building kicks off next weekend and people here say it won't be long before most fire departments that use it will develop and fine tune some life saving skills.