On May 29, 2013 Governor Lynch signed Senate Bill 291 which appropriated funding to purchase land and build a fire training facility located in the North Country. The Department of Safety established a committee that was composed of fire chiefs and firefighters throughout the North Country to determine the needs and location of a fire training facility in the North Country. The committee examined multiple properties and unanimously selected the site in Bethlehem to be the location for the North Country fire training facility.
The property is approximately a 12.1 acre lot part of a larger parcel of land in the White Mountain National Forest obtained by the United States Department of Agriculture by federal condemnation in and around 1914. Key factors that weighted into the decision to select the site in Bethlehem was how the site was located within 60 miles of all the municipalities that were targeted, cost of development, existing infrastructure, and community acceptance. This property consists of a main structure and several other buildings which will be able to be utilized for training and storage.
This site will be the home of a new four story burn building to serve both certification training and local department training. This building will be essential in increases the training levels of local responders. Along with the burn building, an existing building on site is being converted to a fully functional classroom space.