Camden County upgrades fire-training center

GLOUCESTER TWP. For 23 years, the building has gone up in flames — and been extinguished countless times. It’s helped thousands of first responders train and perfect their lifesaving skills.

But after the wear and tear of continuous use, the Camden County Burn Building in Gloucester Township needed updates for the future.

"The Burn Building provides a critical component of preparation by simulating conditions that firefighters may face in real life," said Freeholder Michelle Gentek-Mayer, liaison to the department of public safety. "That is why the Freeholder Board and Camden County College have invested more than $100,000 to upgrade the facility and enhance safety."

The building, equipped with a propane-fueled simulator, has been used for various exercises, from fire suppression to hazardous materials training.

The latest upgrades included replacing the original propane sensors, which had exceeded their life cycle, and installing a new digital monitoring system.

When in use, the burn building is continuously monitored to prevent possible failures in the system, officials said. The training facility’s computer system senses water application and introduces theatrical smoke conditions.

Powerful fans in the Burn Building can immediately clear smoke and permit normal visibility for those training in the structure.

"The Camden County Regional Emergency Training Center offers a variety of modern courses to continuously improve the emergency service delivery not only for Camden County but surrounding counties and industrial entities," said Battalion Chief Marc Rigberg of the Winslow Township Fire Department. "The facility and professional staff continue to develop to meet these ever increasing needs."

— Edward Colimore