By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, RI – Fire officials from around the state gathered in Exeter Wednesday to dedicate the state's new fire training academy.
The classroom building has yet to be constructed but the most needed component - a four story steel training tower - is ready for use by the next generation of firefighters.
State Fire Marshal Jack Chartier says the Rhode Island Fire Academy has lacked proper training facilities since it was founded in the 1980's.
"The first office was located in the town of North Providence, where in a single room above the Oki Steak House a desk, a phone and a closet served as the physical facilities for the Academy," he told about 150 fire and police officials gathered in the Academy's new garage.
The new Academy, located on a 12-acre site near the old Ladd School in Exeter, is funded with a $55 million referendum overwhelmingly approved by Rhode Island voters one year after the 9/11 attacks on America.
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