Firefighters to get new training site

COVINGTON - Covington and Newton County firefighters will soon have a new training facility.

The city and county are teaming up to build a facility that will allow firefighters to do on the street training, Covington Fire Chief Don Floyd said.

The 15-acre site is across from the Covington Municipal Airport, adjacent to Georgia Plating.

The need for an adequate training facility was noted in the city's recent ISO evaluation, which determines fire insurance premiums, City Manager Steve Horton said.

Local firefighters do mandatory training at a state training facility in Forsyth, Floyd said.

The new facility will include a three-story rappelling tower, a burn building, a flammable liquid pit and a driver's course around the perimeter of the property, Floyd said.

The city's airport consultant said the facility should not interfere with the operations of the airport and that smoke should not disturb pilots anymore than "a pile of burning leaves."

The city has budgeted $500,000 for the facility, but the cost could change, Horton said, adding that utilities will have to be extended to the site.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners has yet to approve the county's portion of the project.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.