Commissioners support firefighting facility

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Curry County commissioners pledged support during Tuesday’s commission meeting for a facility where Clovis firefighters can train in live-fire exercises.

Interim County Manager Lance Pyle said commissioners will vote in their next meeting whether to add the facility to a list of projects the county will asked to be funded during the 2009 legislative session.

The cost of the live-fire facility, which would be part of a multi-million dollar regional training facility in Clovis, is $780,000.

Fire Captain Rick Potter said buildings to conduct live-fire training in the city — which are usually condemned houses — are hard to find.

“We rarely get a building that’s safe enough to burn,” he said.

Roosevelt and Quay counties have expressed interest in the facility and Potter said he hopes De Baca and Guadalupe counties will also give their support for the facility, which would be built on fire department land in south Clovis behind Fire Station 5.
“We think that if we build it they will come,” Potter said.

Potter said participating counties would be asked to help fund the facility, which would serve as a satellite of the New Mexico Fire Fighters Academy.

The facility would also contain a $450,000 building with moveable walls that can be used in non-live fire exercises and for law-enforcement training, he said.

Potter said the facility would increase job satisfaction among Clovis firefighters and help with retention.

Once the facility is complete, the CFD would work with Clovis Community College to offer firefighter courses.

In other business:

County commissioners approved an agreement between the county and the 9th Judicial District for a County Courthouse security officer.

The Judicial District will pay the security officer’s salary for two years, after which the county will assume the responsibility.

Pyle said he received seven applications for the job.

Fairgrounds Manager Justus Anderson reported vandals broke a window of the oldest house exhibit.

He said nothing was stolen in the house, which exhibits life in the early days of Clovis.