Albany Tech gets new firefighter training tower

Albany Tech gets new fire training tower for Fire Science Program. / Jessica Fairley

Over at Albany Technical College a project that's been nearly a decade in the making is now complete.

The school's Fire Science Technology program now has it's very own training tower.

Many may not know it but fire science in Albany sits on the national level.

"We have the highest insurance rating in the state. The highest that you can get," said Albany Technical College President Dr. Anthony Parker, "And Albany Tech is the only area outside of the fire academy in Forsyth that has national accreditation."

Not only will the new training facility serve as an instructional tool, it will also cut back on student travel.

"All of our students now will be able to get their national firefighter one and two certification on the campus of Albany Tech," said Albany Tech Fire Sciences Director Don Laye.

Although the tower won't be used for on-site burn training, instructors say there are multiple other skills that can be built through the use of the tower.

"In the past we've had to improvise. We've had to place ladders on buildings. We've had to cut palates out there on the grass. So this building has all that built in to it," said Albany Tech Fire Science Instructor and Albany Fire Department Driver Frank Flanagan.

There are 96 tasks that students have to be proficient in for firefighter one and firefighter two accreditation and all of those can be performed at the training tower. This is in addition to the 21 life saving skills that students have to learn.

School officials say by adding the tower, Albany Tech will remain a strong competitor when it comes to fire science.