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Newly built Columbia County training facility now open

May 31, 2022 12:30 am

David Lee is reporting for The Columbia Paper the newly completed Columbia Columbia County training center has officially opened. On May 21, the P.J. Keeler Columbia Columbia County Emergency Services and Response Training Facility was dedicated. The facility is located at the end of 50 Grandinetti Drive off Bender Boulevard at the south end of the Columbia County Airport, inside the Gerald R. Simons Commerce Park. The facility was named in honor of EMS Coordinator Keeler, an active member of Claverack's A.B. Shaw Fire Company for 46 years, and a 42-year member of the Greenport Rescue Squad. Keeler is credited with leading the effort to create and implement a coordinated EMS system, the first of its kind in the state. He also developed a plan to fund the 2018 state law requiring volunteer firefighters to have insurance coverage for cancer-related illnesses. During the dedication ceremony, Keeler spoke of the importance of the work done by first responders. “What we do actually matters in people’s lives,” he said. “People remember our calm in the face of crisis.” Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.