Location Address: 351 Snyder Ave, West Chester, PA
Billing Address: 351 Snyder Ave, West Chester, PA, 19381
The West Chester Fire Department Training Center was the brain child of former Fire Chief Steven R. Conway (1977-1979). Fire Chief Conway obtained a 99 year lease from the Borough of West Chester for the property that the facility currently occupies. The property was formally the Borough' s trash dump.
Former Fire Chief Walt Mitchell (1980-1983) continued Chief Conway's efforts. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on October 11, 1981. A committee was created to raise funds for the training center. In 1981 there were several fundraising efforts that resulted in more than $21,000 in donations. The funds were utilized to grade the grounds of the facility and the relocation of the "battle of the barrel". They were also used for the relocation of a rail road tank car. This car was obtained through the efforts of Fire Chief George "Bud" Turner of the West Whiteland Fire Company.
The fire school committee incorporated in 1982 becoming its own entity. The nine member Board of Directors were comprised of three representatives from each of the three West Chester Fire Companies, the First West Chester Fire Company, the Goodwill Fire Company, and the Fame Fire Company.
The water system was installed during former Fire Chief Robert Brice's tenure (1983-1986). The first burn building was constructed during former Fire Chief James Petrondi (1987-1989). The Board of Directors determined there was a need for a more permanent solution to raise monies that would not interfere with the fundraising efforts of the West Chester Fire Departments three companies. The monies would also eliminate the need for the volunteers to provide maintenance at the facility. As financial obligations increased the Board of Directors decided to charge for usage of the facility, including the three West Chester Companies. The monies received pay for operating expenses and capital projects.