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Firefighter training center could be built near East Carnegie memorial

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By Shawn Annarelli
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A firefighter training center may be built near the planned firefighters memorial, at the intersection of Idlewood Avenue and Duncan Way in East Carnegie.

Plans called for a park with a firefighter memorial, said Scott Township board vice president David Jason, and then Scott Township Volunteer Fire District approached him with the idea of building a firefighter training center.

With a nearby training center, volunteer firefighters would not always have to travel to North Park for training, as they have been doing.

Training would include learning how to move around in a smoke-filled building, how to gain access through a roof, wall or door and other types of rescue training.

However, Jason said township officials will not go forward with plans unless the township's three volunteer fire departments support the project. The fire chiefs of Bower Hill, East Carnegie and Glendale did not respond to requests for comment.

“It's always difficult to accept new things, and this would be a new cooperative thing between the three volunteer firefighter departments,” Jason said.

Scott Township Manager Denise Fitzgerald could not estimate the cost of either project, but she said that $170,000 already had been allocated to building a park and firefighter memorial as part of a $6 million bond issue approved by commissioners in May.

Township officials have not dedicated a portion of their operating budget to the project, though it is possible if commissioners decide to build a firefighter training center.

Scott Township also is in the process of acquiring a Community Development Block Grant — amount undetermined — to raze two condemned houses where the park and firefighter memorial would be built.

A third house would be sold to the township and razed if commissioners decide to build a firefighter training center along with the firefighter memorial.

“We were looking into trying to get rid of these houses that are there, because they're consistently flooded every time the creek rises,” Jason said.

While Jason said he will not solicit involvement outside of Scott Township unless the project is approved.

“Either way it's going to be a nice thing for the township where it'll be a park with a firefighter memorial or a firefighter training center with a firefighter memorial,” Jason said.

Shawn Annarelli is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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