LATHAM – A training session for instructors run by the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control at the Colonie Municipal Training Center at 100 Wade Road went wrong on Thursday, Sept. 14 injuring at least six firefighters.
“The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control is committed to providing high-quality, safe and effective training for New York’s career and volunteer firefighters. Earlier today, area career firefighters were partaking in an instructors course to be able to teach State Fire courses to their local departments, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Communications Director Jordan Guerrein said.
“Some of these students sustained minor burn-related injuries during a live fire exercise. Those individuals were transported to local hospitals to receive medical care,” he said. The incident remains under review by our safety officer.”
The incident took place on the second day of a two-day course at the training center during a live-fire exercise in a building at the complex. The small concrete building near the back of the property is designed to simulate a burning building by igniting hay and pallets in a controlled environment, according to other instructors who train at the facility.
According to State Fire, the firefighters were in the burn room for approximately 30 seconds before the exercise was paused. It was during this pause that the injuries were identified.
According to Colonie police, the instructors contacted Colonie EMS and police at 10:02 a.m. to evaluate the students.
Police were contacted because the Colonie Municipal Training Center is on town property.
The program held at the center was a certification training for Municipal Fire Instructors, held for seasoned career firefighters looking to train their members using State Fire’s curriculum.
Five members of the Troy Fire Department were transported to area hospitals with first and second degree burns. Three were sent to Albany Medical Center Hospital and two to Samaritan Hospital in Troy. All were released after treatment.
“We had 11 people in that class at the Colonie tower that are seasoned fire officers, captains, lieutenants. So, I believe there’s one firefighter but they’re all guys that have 10 plus years on the job they’ve seen plenty of fire,” local 86 firefighter Union President Eric Wisher said in an interview with Channel 10.
A Saratoga Springs Lieutenant was burned but was treated at the scene.
The class had approximately 20 students total.
State Fire said that the incident is under investigation to find the cause of the accident.
This story appeared on page 4 of the September 20, 2023 print edition of the Spotlight