NEADS Breeding Center Property Offers Unique Training Opportunity for Sterling Fire Department

November 2, 2020

Prior to beginning construction on the new NEADS Breeding Center, two existing structures on the property were scheduled for demolition. Recognizing a unique opportunity, NEADS CEO Gerry DeRoche offered the Sterling Fire Department the buildings for training purposes before the demolition. And so, over the course of several evenings, Sterling fire fighters had the chance to train under very realistic conditions.

“We are very appreciative for the opportunity to train at the property recently acquired by NEADS,” said Sterling Fire Department’s Lieutenant Thomas Kokernak. “Having the ability to train in old buildings set for demolition allows us to work on specific skills under the most realistic conditions possible.

“The way the house was laid out made it especially effective for training on the way we search for people in smoke filled buildings, the techniques we use advance fire hose, how we ventilate smoke, and the methods we use to help rescue ourselves when something unexpected occurs. These tactics often involve cutting holes and dragging hose and other equipment, so having a building to practice in where we do not have to be concerned about damage allows us to ramp up the intensity of these drills. We are very appreciative that NEADS was willing to consider the fire department’s training needs in their overall plan to redevelop the site.”

“We were pleased to make the buildings available for training,” said DeRoche. “I have two sons who are firemen in neighboring communities, so I understand first-hand the value of being able to simulate real-life conditions and the role that it plays in helping to ensure the safety of our first responders.”

The structures were completely removed at the end of the training exercises, and the foundation was poured for the new Breeding Center, leaving the site ready for the next phase of construction.