Schimminger & Rath Secure Funding for Fire Tower

State grant will help train area first-responders
August 10, 2005

Today Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and Senator Mary Lou Rath announced they have secured a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) in state funding for the construction of a new fire training tower in the Town of Tonawanda. The state-of-the-art tower will be constructed on Fire Tower Drive, off Two Mile Creek Road.

As the legislators made their announcement, construction crews were busy laying the foundation for the new building. Once complete, the fire tower will be used by volunteer firefighters and emergency responders in the towns of Tonawanda and Grand Island, the City of Tonawanda, and the Village of Kenmore.

“It is critical that our area firefighters and emergency responders have access to the best training possible,” said Senator Rath. “This new tower will allow our dedicated volunteer firefighters from in and around the Town of Tonawanda to practice their lifesaving skills under authentic conditions. I am so pleased I was able to partner with Assemblyman Schimminger to provide the funding for this tower which, once built, will help protect the people of Tonawanda and beyond.”

“Our community’s firefighters and emergency responders put their lives on the line for us each day, and providing a state-of-the-art training facility is essential to their safety as well as that of the people they serve,” said Assemblyman Schimminger. “I’m pleased to collaborate with Senator Rath and town officials on providing this significant state assistance, which represents the final piece of the funding puzzle for this important project. I know that firefighters from the town’s five volunteer departments, the Kenmore Volunteer Fire Department and the City of Tonawanda’s four fire companies will appreciate this good news and are looking forward to once again honing their skills right here in Tonawanda.”

Town Supervisor Ronald H. Moline thanked Senator Rath and Assemblyman Schimminger for their assistance. “We appreciate the outstanding response of our state legislators to the need for a state-of-the-art training center for our emergency responders,” he said. “Once this project is finished, our local responders will be able to enhance their skills and preparedness without traveling great distances. In the final analysis, all emergencies and disasters are local events and could affect any neighborhood in our town, so we have to offer the best programs we can to promote readiness,” Moline concluded.

Tonawanda Councilman David Rider, who helped spearhead the project at the town level, was also on hand as the legislators made their announcement. “This fire training tower fulfills the vital need for training of our volunteer fire service,” said Rider. “I thank Senator Rath and Assemblyman Schimminger for their very generous contribution to our community”

The old fire training tower was demolished earlier this year after it had deteriorated beyond repair. Crews began construction on the new facility earlier this week. Attached to the four-story tower will be a two-story simulated house with attic space and a small annex, both equipped with burn rooms, for additional training purposes. The Town of Tonawanda expects construction to be complete by the end of October.

Erie County also provided funding toward the completion of this project.