After months of planning, negotiating and researching, the Calhoun Fire Department (CFD) and the Calhoun City Council broke ground on the land where the new fire training facility will be, which is directly behind CFD station No. 2.
“This process of planning took about five years,” explained Deputy Chief Terry Mills. “To finally be breaking ground is really great, and it will be an asset to our department and community.”
The next step for the CFD is to hear back from bids that will be sent out the first week in June, according to Mills.
“Once we get the bids back, it will only take eight to 12 weeks for construction,” said Mills. “I’d say we will begin constructing the first of August.”
Mills went on to say that the CFD hopes to have the project completed by November.
The training facility will not only help train the CFD in fighting fires, but there will also be a rehab shelter, an underground pit and multiple other props for the crew to use to their advantage.
“Once we get it done, it’s going to be a really neat place,” said Mills.
Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer said that while the CFD are already well trained, this is yet another benefit for the city.
“Having a training facility here, eliminates having to travel to receive the same training; we can now do it here,” said Palmer. “And having a training officer here, it’s a plus for our department.”
Palmer also said that now Calhoun can host special training events or classes, where others can come and learn from this new facility, which will have an economic impact on the city of Calhoun.
Once the training facility is erected, it will be a state-of-the-art facility, according to Mills.
In a previous Calhoun Times article, CFD Chief Lenny Nesbitt reiterated the sentiment and said, “There are certain tasks that have to be done every year to remain a certified firefighter; some of those tasks we can do here, but some we have to go to places that have live fire-burning facilities,” explained Nesbitt. “With the new facility we can do that here; we will be able to have rope training, confined space training, configure the insides so we can do searches, and classes that we usually have to go to South Georgia for, we can now do that here and host here, too.”
The CFD has also hired a new training officer, Chris Cox, who will oversee the facility starting now.