Maine Maritime Academy plans to soon break ground on a fire training facility at the old paper mill site in Bucksport that would allow students and professional mariners to practice putting out fires in ship-like conditions, according to a recent report from the Bangor Daily News.
The 3,500 square foot building will be the latest and — for the moment at least — last addition to MMA’s development center, which opened in 2020 at the mill site to help mariners in New England keep their certifications up to date, the Daily News reported.
The building will be able to mimic growing and dying fires on a boat to meet the certification needs of many mariners, said Peter Stewart, the facilities director at the academy and a member of the Bucksport town council. There is no other such facility in eastern Maine, and possibly the whole state, according to the Daily News.
Below is an excerpt from the Bangor Daily News’ report.
“Mariners will be able to get this training closer to home,” he said.
The building could also be used to practice fighting fires in homes and other buildings on land.
Local fire chiefs in western Hancock County said having such a facility in their backyard would be a huge benefit.
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“It would certainly be welcome,” Bucksport deputy fire chief Michael Denning said. “We’re looking forward to them getting their facility up and running.”
Currently, the closest training facility for fighting fires on land is in Ellsworth and it isn’t practical to bring Bucksport’s fire department’s equipment and staff there, leaving their local station understaffed.
To read the full story from the Bangor Daily News, click here.