First responders like Tim Fay and fellow Department of Environmental Conservation police officers prepare for potentially deadly scenarios they hope to never encounter. He was among officers who traveled Thursday to the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany to practice drills and strengthen their skills.
"Training is imperative to my job," said Fay, the NYS DEC police assistant team leader. "One for the safety of the public, for my team members and myself."
"This facility was built to get the first responders out of the classroom because the way they train best and learn best is by doing it," said Robert Stallman, the State Preparedness Training Center assistant director.
First responders use the center's cityscape, which resembles a real neighborhood, to train for emergencies such as active shooters, hazardous spills and bomb threats.
"It's something different," said Stallman. "We can provide them a training venue that they have not trained on before. This is where we want them to train and make mistakes because if you make a mistake here, you can fix it."
"You can hone your skills so much," said Luke Billotto, the NYS DEC police team leader."The ability to move to different layouts, different venues allows you to change what you're seeing and how you apply your skills."
"Here, working in the facility has really made our team work more efficient, more safe and of course with that, we're going to provide a better a service to the public," said Fay.