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Improvements for Eddy fire facility

Members of the Joel Volunteer Fire Department go through a training exercise at the Eddy County Fire Administration and Training Complex south of Carlsbad. The facility is seeing some major improvements and upgrades, according to Fire Services Director Joshua Mack. (Courtesy Photo)

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CARLSBAD — Some work that has been taking place at the Eddy County Fire Services Training Center is expected to be complete later this year.

That was the word given Tuesday to the Eddy County Board of Commissioners by Joshua Mack, fire services director and Brian Stephens facilities director.

County records state that they purchased the facility south of Carlsbad years ago. It was operated by the Permian Basin Regional Training Center. The county operated facility is available for use by municipal fire agencies in the region.

County officials said the facility can be used by private industry as well through an agreement with the PBRTC.

Mack said there was some money allotted for improvements on the training grounds. He added there were some funds left that were never expended. He added that a generator was also purchased, however that has been sitting idle for sometime.

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Mack said there are plans to hook up that generator, which is expected to give the facility some emergency back up power, “in the event of a power loss so we can run our Emergency Operations Center and it will operate providing safety in large scale disasters.”

Mack said his department has been going out and setting priorities for the facility, including adding some restrooms and showers. “For whenever our Emergency Operations Center is open or if we have a fire where we have soot and everything on us, we are able to shower here at the facility.”

By showering there, Mack said personnel don’t have to smell like smoke when heading home in their vehicles.

“Also if they’re training and they get stuff on them, they will be able to shower here instead of carrying all that stuff on them when they get home,” he said.

Mack said another project is to add a gate with a security code and putting, “better secured locks on our building for security issues for our Emergency Operations Center.”

Mack added that $100,000 was being transferred out of his department’s account to update some classrooms at the facility.

Mack said there are some other projects that are taking place at the training facility, including a weight room has also been added for the trainees and county employees to use.

“Fitness is a huge part of our daily jobs, we’re hoping that will increase the fitness level of all our volunteers, along with our staff and including employees, it gives them that option as well,” he said.

Mack said the goal for all projects to be complete is mid-June.

“We have $1 million left in that account after the $100,000 I transferred in for my classrooms and with that $1 million we plan to spend every penny of it to upgrade as much as we can,” he said.

Mack said the county is also looking at upgrading the EOC as well.

Mack added that all volunteer fire departments in the county are looking for people, he said those interested are asked to pick up an application at their office at 1400 Commerce Drive in Carlsbad.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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