Council votes 4-3 against Hamilton County training facility

(WISH Photo)

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A new $3 million training facility in Hamilton County that would allow firefighters real life experience has been voted down, 4-3.

Everything was in place for this facility: property, funding, and training plans that would benefit first responders in Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville and the rest of Hamilton County. All they needed was the vote.

“The first time a firefighter experiences himself in a burning building should not be the real thing. It should be in a controlled environment where mistakes are affordable, so they can learn from those mistakes,” said Fishers Fire Chief Steve Orusa.

Orusa spoke in support of a new facility which would’ve offered firefighters real life experience with live burn training.

“We do everything in our power to make sure they have the best training, the best equipment to do the job safely. Because that covenant is not only with them. It’s with their families. When they’re committed to harms way, they’re families are in harms way,” said Orusa.

Those for it say having the facility in Noblesville would be cost efficient since emergency personnel wouldn’t have to travel outside the county for training. They say the $3 million price tag is just a one time cost, adding it wouldn’t cost tax payers additional funds.

But it’s a cost those against it say isn’t the county’s responsibility.

“We pay money to the county for many functions. And firefighting is not a function of the county. So if they have excess money there is a lot of things we can do in Hamilton County to improve things.” John Accetturo of Carmel.

Opponents also argue that there was no plan once the facility is built. They questioned the business operation, budget and curriculum plans. They also call the facility redundant because other facilities exist in the state.

“I believe there is adequate training facilities in the metropolitan area that could be used,” said Accetturo.

Council did approve a plan for a less expensive smaller facility exclusively for fire fighters. Those plans have not been finalized.

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