Macon-Bibb Fire Department prepares for new fire training facility

It was a bittersweet moment for the Macon-Bibb Fire Department on Wednesday.
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Bibb County Fire Department hosts last burn at training facility
New Fire Train Facility to be constructed

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — It was a bittersweet moment for the Macon-Bibb Fire Department on Wednesday.

The fire department lit its last fire at its fire training facility ahead of the facility’s demolition. A $2.8 million facility funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds will be built in its place.

The old training facility, located on Tinker Drive in Macon, started off with one building.

For 30 years now, the facility has prepared hundred of firefighters for the dangers they may face when called to duty.

One firefighter says he’s excited for the new facility.

“For me it’s a good thing to tear it down and come back with something new,” he said. “Something that’s really going to remove all the limitations that we have and open up a lot more doors for more training and better training.”

Tyler Stembridge has been with the fire department for 19 years and remembers the one building he trained in.

“We couldn’t really burn that much in there,” he said. “We would have to go to another facility to get that kind of training.”

Fire Chief Shane Edwards says the new training facility will offer more to firefighters.

“We’re actually going to have a flash over simulator built in where we’ll actually be able to train,” he said. “We’ll put our firefighters in real fire where they’ll actually be in there working and then an actual flash fire will take place. That lets our firefighters know what they’ll experience in the real world.”

Fire Chief Edwards says the old training facility was built by firefighters over the years and that the new facility will mark the start of a new beginning.

“We’re able to have our firefighters 24 hours, 7 days a week around the clock doing multiple training scenarios,’ he said. “And it just better improves all of our firefighters for us and the community.”

Construction will start this summer. The facility is expected to be built by the end of 2022.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News, WMGT