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Site is important training ground for firefighters

Site is important training ground for firefighters

January 2nd, 2019 by Neil Abeles in Texarkana Region

The school bus atop a pickup is not a wreck but part of the training apparatus at the Cass County Emergency Service Fire Training Facility. The bus has been put there on purpose to simulate the need for extraction.

Photo by Neil Abeles /Texarkana Gazette.

At first glance, the field appears to be a landfill or junkyard. Wrecks and burned buildings are all around.

Yet the objects seem arranged, maybe even useful.

Some buildings are painted and well-cared for. Work is going on to construct a new metal building.

In truth, this is a training ground for saving lives. It is the Cass County Emergency Services District 2's Fire Training Facility in Queen City. It's location is remote, and it is likely that few citizens know the facility, much less what goes on here or the work in progress to improve it.

Gallery: Site is important training ground for firefighters

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The site is used to train emergency personnel. It is the site of the annual Cass County Fire Fighters Association's school, which is open to the area and backed by the Texas A&M Fire School.

"This site is supported by our public," said CCED2 Fire Chief Chuck Weerts, "and we're pleased that recently the district passed a vote for a small increase in sales tax to support our efforts.

"The training-site work and other projects such as the lighted flag and pole at the central station are led by our assistant chief Eric White, and I support him and all of his helpers who are doing so much.

"We've just received a grant for a new fire truck. Our present main pumper is 20 years old.

"We've also doubled the size of our central fire station in Queen City.

"I'm pleased to tell that when I began as fire chief in 2004, there were times I discovered that when we'd had a call for emergency, no one responded. Since then, that has not happened a single time. I think we are looked upon now as supporters for a wide area."

The CCSD 2 is the only district outside of Texarkana that has such a fire training facility.

The CCSD 2 is a combination of fire stations and covers 165 square miles of what used to the old political precinct three. The district includes the areas of Queen City, Domino, Antioch, Piney Grove and Laws Chapel but the department frequently responds to calls for assistance from as far away as Liberty-Eylau.

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