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In 1976, a group of men gathered to form the Rockingham County Firemen's Association. Their purpose is to educate and provide training to the firefighters of Rockingham County. Through the efforts of the Association on April 4, 1978 the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners designated 8.6 acres of land to be dedicated for the purpose of a centralized fire training facility. In 1979, the Commissioners added a second parcel of land increasing the area to 15.5 acres. Access roads and dry hydrants were installed and the Training Center officially opened on December 29, 1979. A smoke house was constructed in November of 1980 and a flammable liquids pit in February of 1981. The training grounds continued to be operated by the Rockingham County Firemen's Association until July 25, 1990 at which time the property was transferred to Rockingham Community College. Since that time many anticipated improvements have been researched and planned. The project plan was completed in 1991; however, at this time no one could foresee the freezing of capital funds by the state and the process came to a screeching halt.
In 1994, the training committee members and Dr. Jerry Owens of Rockingham Community College were met with the challenge of restoring the vision of a facility which could be used by all facets of Emergency Services. The training committee, the County Manager (Jerry Myers) and Dr. Jerry Owens researched all avenues of funding for such a facility. Monies obtained by Rockingham Community College through state funding along with money allocated by the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners allowed the vision to continue. In spring of 1997, a ground breaking was held for a multi-use training facility. On September 30,1997 we had our grand opening for the newly constructed burn-lab/training tower facility.
Since the time the facility opened most of the county's fire departments, rescue squads, EMS, and law enforcement agencies have used this facility. A new sign was erected September of 2001 with the name of: Emergency Services Training Center.
March 4, 2003 the Classroom Storage Building was officially opened. This building is a 2,664-square-foot structure which provides space for classroom training, office operations, emergency vehicle parking and storage. The facility was constructed at a cost of approximately $250,000 and was financed primarily with state higher education bond funds. Moseley, Wilkins & Wood was the project architect and M&M Builders, of High Point, was the general contractor.
Rockingham Community College would like to thank all those, who worked through the years so diligently to make this facility possible.