FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Governor Larry Hogan plans to hand down more than a million dollars for improvements to the Frederick County Public Safety Center.
The public safety center is used by hundreds every single day.
“On a daily basis it’s not uncommon for 200 people to come in and out of this building receiving some sort of training,” explained Frederick County Fire and Rescue Acting Chief Tom Coe.
Officials say that during the 1980s, when the facility was built, it was namely volunteer firefighters who trained at the center.
But in the years since, the facility has opened up to training many more.
“[The training center] supports both the Frederick County Sherriff’s Office and their SWAT team, Frederick County Corrections Academy, the emergency communications center and their academy, and emergency management as well,” says battalion chief for Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services, Lenne Stolberg.
“We’re really bursting at the seams at the public safety training center,” Coe said.
And that’s caused constraints on parking, locker room space and storage.
Recently, Governor Larry Hogan allotted $1.5 million dollars in the 2021 capital budget to go to renovations and construction at the facility.
Coe says this comes at a time when 90 firefighter recruits, the most the facility has ever hosted, are expected this spring.
“The $1.5 million is really earmarked for two projects: one would be improvement of the locker room facilities to make sure that we can house appropriately the number of recruit trainees we have across all of our safety agencies,” Coe explained.
Funding also tackles a lack of storage space.
County public safety departments bring in training items and when it comes time to put them away, the solution has often been several outdoor steel containers.
“As we had a need or as the materials we needed grew, then we could just get another [storage unit] and we end up having multitudes of things stored in different places,” Stolberg said, “It’s not very effective. It’s not very efficient.”
Plans are to expand an indoor training space so firefighter recruits can practice during inclement weather. And that building would also serve as storage.
“That structure will be a multipurpose building to allow us to improve our indoor training opportunities, as well as fill the need for some storage space here at the academy,” said Coe.