A new fire training facility in the North Country will be named after Executive Councilor Ray Burton, said Deborah A. Pendergast, the director of the state’s division of Fire Standards & Training and Emergency Medical Services.
The center, located in Bethlehem, will allow fire fighters from the North Country to learn fire fighting techniques without the cost and time involved in traveling to Concord.
“It gives the folks up in that area a facility that meets their needs,” she said in a telephone interview.
Pendergast said officials thought the center should be named after someone from the North Country. “There was talk of well, has there been a fire chief that contributed a lot to training…that would be appropriate.”
Then, recently, Burton’s name was suggested.
“Everybody said ‘Yes, Absolutely. That is the most appropriate," she said.
In a written statement Gov. Maggie Hassan noted "It is fitting to name this new facility in Ray Burton’s honor as it seeks to train future generations of public servants to watch over and protect our communities.”
The training center is expected to open next year in two phases.
The first is a four-story, steel “burn building.” It should be finished late in January, Pendergast said.
The second phase involves converting a seven-stall garage for use including a classroom, a conference room and an office. It is expected to open in the spring.
Burton, who represented the North Country for about four decades, announced recently that his kidney cancer, said to be in remission, had returned and he would not seek re-election next year.