EASTON — Local firefighters and elected officials braved the cold and broke ground for the first phase of Easton Volunteer Fire Department's new firefighter training facility on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Attendees at the groundbreaking included numerous state and local officials, including state Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot, and a representative for U.S. Sen. Chris VanHollen, D-Md. Talbot County Council Vice President Pete Lesher, Easton Mayor Robert Willey, Easton Town Council President Megan Cook and several other town council members attended to represent local government.

A group of 10 firefighters from the Easton Volunteer Fire Department also joined the ceremonial shoveling.

The new training facility, which will be located at 9095 Mistletoe Drive in Easton, will be a hub for all volunteer firefighters across the Mid-Shore region who are looking for specialized education. 

The hope is that training occurring at the new location, which will be available for other fire departments in Talbot County and the surrounding counties, will help draw in more recruits for local fire departments.

The firefighters also hope that the new facility will make access to training easier, as the other firefighter training facilities on the Shore are located in Centreville and Princess Anne. 

Typically, classes for volunteer firefighters happen in the evening, with courses running from 7 to 10 p.m. Many recruits have also put in a full day's work beforehand, making the long drive to and from either of the existing locations a difficult late-night task. 

EVFD's first lieutenant Daryl Caldwell expressed his excitement for the new campus, mentioning how it will become a place that mixes the new generations of emergency personnel with those from the past.

“You need both. Things are constantly changing, and you learn from each other," Caldwell said. "I think it’s great, and it will be a place where people can bounce off new ideas.”

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