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Rural fire departments get boost with new training center

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 18:29:05-04

The Boise Fire Department has one of the best state of the art training centers in the Northwest, but not a lot of rural departments that rely heavily on volunteers can't take advantage of the facility. But now there's another option in Ontario, Oregon.

Ontario fire chief Terry Leighton is so proud of the facility and loves talking about it with anyone who's interested.

"It makes my joy just go through the roof when I get to talk about it, it's a great thing," Leighton said.

The Ontario Fire Department used to train when and wherever they could: in parking lots, behind city hall, or out of town. Now Leighton says things are getting better.

"Currently we go to train in Nampa and it takes our limited man power of response areas," Leighton said. "This is a huge benefit to us I can't tell you enough. So now we have a central location that's off the main highway, plenty of supplies, improve extrication, police have had classes here this is not just an Ontario police and fire training facility, it's a regional facility."

The new public safety training center will serve the Snake River Valley River Districts stretching from New Meadows all the way down to Murphy. Leighton gets emotional when talking about the support of the city and other agencies who helped male all of this possible.

"It makes my heart go it really does," Leighton said.