Fairfield town officials gather Saturday at the site of the future Fire Training Facility for a groundbreaking ceremony. From left, Councilor Stephanie Thibodeau, Fire Chief Duane Bickford, Town Council Chairman John Picchiotti, Somerset County Commissioner Robert Sezak, Councilor Peter Lawrence and Town Council Vice Chairman Michael Taylor. Kaitlyn Budion/Morning Sentinel

FAIRFIELD — The town’s future Fire Training Facility is one step closer to becoming a reality as work begins preparing the site for construction.

Local officials gathered Saturday for a groundbreaking ceremony.

Fire Chief Duane Bickford, Somerset County Commissioner Robert Sezak, Town Council Chairman John Picchiotti, Town Council Vice Chairman Michael Taylor, Councilor Peter Lawrence, Councilor Stephanie Thibodeau and Town Manager Michelle Flewelling gathered for a brief ceremony at the future site of the facility.

The Fire Training Facility has been in the works for years. The town has finally lined up the funding and is ready for construction — as long as the fall weather cooperates. The Fairfield Public Works department has already removed the existing clay and installed filter fabrics and base gravel.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Picchiotti said.

The building will have three separate sections, Bickford said. A one-story burn room, a two-story residential-model area and a 40-foot tower. The building will also have an outside staircase and a space for confined space training in the tower.


Sezak said that it is exciting to see the project come so far and now be so close to completion.

“It’s great. This has actually been in the works since I was on the council, so it’s been a dream come true for many of us,” Sezak said.

The facility will be located off of Industrial Drive in Fairfield, on the newly named Flashover Drive, behind the high school track. Construction will be done by J.Reed Constructors, which was chosen through a bidding process by the state.

There have been conversations about a need for a facility like this for years, as most of the training facilities for firefighters are located in the southern part of the state, which makes it difficult for departments in the rest of Maine to travel for training.

The plan is to use the facility for trainings for any fire departments in the area, not just Fairfield. And in the past, Flewelling has said that there is potential to use the space for trainings for other departments, not just fire.

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