Baltimore City will soon have a state- of- the- art live fire training facility at the Baltimore City Fire Department’s Fire Training Academy. Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and representatives from Baltimore Gas and Electric broke ground yesterday, on the first phase of a planned renovation of the Fire Training Academy. Known as the Burn Building, the structure will provide live fire training for firefighters and BGE emergency crews who are called to turn off gas and electric at buildings during fires.
As part of its merger with Constellation Energy in 2011, Excelon agreed to fund a portion of the project that will ultimately improve BGE’s emergency response procedures during fire emergencies. The project will cost $1,444,406 million dollars, with $974,406 coming from the city, and $470,000 from Exelon.
Calvin G. Butler Jr., BGE’s senior vice president for regulatory and external affairs explains the benefits of the project. “Safety and reliability are BGE’s top priorities, and this training center will help enhance emergency response, protect lives, and improve quality of life in Baltimore. Our investment will also serve as a catalyst for economic development by creating city jobs, which is a key component of the more than $1 billion package of benefits that Exelon will contribute as part of its merger with Constellation”, says Butler.
Built in 1955, the former Burn Building was in use until 2007 when cadets began traveling to Aberdeen for live fire training. Now, they’ll be able to complete all of their training at one location in Baltimore.
“Generations of Baltimore City firefighters have trained at this site. This new facility, when completed, will help cadets learn to work together to suppress fires and protect the residents and businesses of Baltimore,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake.
The master plan for the extended renovation released in 2011 includes further construction of the site, which will eventually become a training hub for first responders from other jurisdictions and private corporations. At a cost of $10- $15 million the city also plans to use the training center for public health screenings and emergency preparedness activities.
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