• Press Release

    October 03, 2007

    The Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation Announce the Opening of the Worcester Fire Department Training Center

    State-of-the-Art Facility is First of its Kind in Central Massachusetts

    Worcester, Ma. - October 03, 2007 -

    The Leary Firefighters Foundation announces the opening of The Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation Training Center for the Worcester Fire Department, 141 Grove Street, Worcester, MA at a press conference on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 from 10:00am – 11:30am. The state-of-the-art facility, Phase II of a multi-year project for the Worcester Fire Department, was made possible by a partnership between The Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation. The first of its kind, the facility will serve as a command post for Massachusetts during statewide emergencies and a training facility for firefighters throughout Central Massachusetts. The facility also serves as a living memorial to Worcester’s bravest who died in the tragic 1999 fire that claimed the lives of six members of the Worcester Fire Department including Denis Leary’s cousin, a childhood friend, and four other firefighters.

    With the completion of the new training center, area firefighters and Incident Commanders will now be able to hold realistic table-top exercises in emergency management situations such as responding to hazardous materials and building collapse. But most importantly, Worcester area firefighters will now have one centralized location where a full training curriculum can be realized. In the completion of this facility in partnership with EMC Corporation, The Foundation will fulfill its pledge to ensure that Worcester Firefighters are trained in the safest and most effective methods and practices used in the fire service today.

    When The Leary Firefighters Foundation was established in 2000, the Foundation made two primary pledges to the Worcester Fire Department; first was The Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation Burn Tower and Training Facility, unveiled on November 1, 2002 and currently used to train firefighters throughout Central Massachusetts; second was the new Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation Training Center unveiled today, funded by a multi-year campaign begun in 2003. To date, the Foundation has provided the Worcester Fire Department with a SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) unit, a rescue boat, and the centerpiece of the facility, the state-of-the-art Burn Tower. The facility is now complete with the opening of the technologically advanced training center.

    “This important gift from The Leary Firefighters Foundation and EMC Corporation is the final piece of a seven-year program to create a state-of-the-art training center that allows us to prepare firefighters for emergency situations in ways that we never have been able to before,” said Chief Gerard A. Dio, Worcester Fire Department. “In addition, the facility houses the Emergency Operations Center that will act as a command center for any statewide emergencies, giving us the vital communications tools and flexibility that are critical to taking action safely and swiftly in the protection of all Massachusetts citizens.”

    Bill Teuber, Vice Chairman, EMC Corporation, said, “The loss of any firefighter or first responder in the line of duty is a tragedy. The recent passing of firefighters in Massachusetts emphasizes just how important it is that these brave individuals have the resources and protection they need to respond to any emergency situation. This is just one of the reasons EMC is proud to support firefighters in Worcester and throughout Central Massachusetts. These exceptional people keep us safe and deserve our commitment and support. The new training center in Worcester will provide them with vital technology and equipment for life-saving emergency training and response."

    “After the Worcester warehouse fire I knew that the only fitting memorial to my cousin, and those brave men that lost their lives that terrible day was a living memorial,” said Denis Leary, President, The Leary Firefighters Foundation, “one that served to train firefighters to the best of their abilities so that they could respond to emergencies as safely and swiftly as possible. It is an honor for the Foundation to be able to give the firefighters of Worcester this state-of-the-art training center that will not only help them fight fires and perform rescue operations but will allow them to perform their duties with increased safety for their own lives. When we are able to have a positive impact on the lives of firefighters, give them the tools that they need to serve and protect, and help to ensure that they return home to their families each night, we know that we have accomplished our mission.”

    The Worcester Fire Department, with a membership of over 400 uniformed firefighters, provides fire protection and life safety services to an area encompassing 39 square miles and a population of 175,454. Worcester is the third largest city in New England and boasts the fastest growing metropolitan area in the State of Massachusetts. The diversity in scope of protection in this area ranges from densely populated multi-family dwellings to office high rise buildings and a mixture of manufacturing and industrial complexes along with a major bio-technical park and many hospitals and colleges. In addition, a major state highway (I-290) passes directly through the heart of the city producing potential hazards of undetermined proportions, due to the nature of the chemicals and other products traveling along the highway. Although many things have changed in the city over the years, one thing will always remain constant; that is, that the Worcester Fire Department and its Firefighters, both past and present, are dedicated to: The Protection Of The Lives And Property Of The Citizens Of Worcester.

    The mission of The Leary Firefighters Foundation, is to provide funding and resources for Fire Departments to obtain the best available equipment, training and technology. The Foundation was established in 2000 by actor Denis Leary in response to a tragic fire in Worcester, Massachusetts that claimed the lives of Denis’ cousin, a childhood friend, and four other firefighters. The Leary Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Code. Please visit us at www.learyfirefighters.org or call 212-343-0240 for further information.

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