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Almost every firefighter who lives and works in the area is familiar with the York County Fire School.

Formed in the 1970s, the fire school at 330 Emig Road in Emigsville, now led by former York City Deputy Chief Richard Halpin, is undergoing some much-needed improvement.

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Construction is about “90 percent complete” according to Halpin, on renovations and additions to the old burn building, and a new five-story training tower.

The new tower will be used for ladder, search and forcible-entry training as well as other techniques. An opening in the center of each floor will allow for confined-space training, and the roofs on the new tower and the burn building line up to allow the advanced technical rescue team the ability to practice high-line transfers, a technique to move people and equipment from one building to another using a rope system.

Renovations and additions to the burn building include a standard (household) sized stairway, a forcible-entry door and a staircase located outside of the building to provide a means of emergency exit while doing ladder or fire training.

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Construction on a new training tower, additions to the burn building and other updates to the York County Fire School are nearing completion

The cost of the project — including a new parking lot, a garage/maze training building and the addition of a cascade air system to fill breathing apparatus — is about $1.6 million, much of it funded by the state through a grant.

The project is expected to be completed this spring.

“We are rather anxious to get in there," Halpin said. "We have to bear with what we have ... and the instructors are real good. They understand that what they’re going to have when they're done is going to be great.”

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