Early in the 1950's, fire service leaders from eastern Connecticut recognized the need for a local training facility in order to provide firefighter training for the region. Fire chiefs from New London, Tolland and Windham counties organized a committee to investigate possible sites for construction of a regional fire training facility. Three different sites were proposed for consideration but a site in Willimantic was determined to be the most desirable. This ten acre site was acquired through a long term lease agreement. The initial agreement was for 25 years with a subsequent 25 year option.  The lease was executed and state grant funds were provided by the General Assembly in order to build a classroom and administrative building, a “Class A” burn building, and a storage building and training tower.

Beginning in 1955, the Eastern Connecticut Training School for Firemen, Inc. started to deliver basic fire and rescue training for firefighters from area fire departments.  Additional state grant funding was secured in subsequent years in order to construct additional classrooms and to finance various improvement to the facility.

The mission of the Eastern Connecticut Fire School is to provide fire service training for fire departments in New London, Tolland and Windham counties.  These three counties contain 49 towns with 97 public fire departments.  Several departments from Middlesex and Hartford counties also send their personnel to this facility for training on a regular basis.  This is the only regional fire school located east of the Connecticut River.

At the termination of the original twenty-five year lease term the directors of the school executed the option for a second twenty-five year lease. At the termination of the second lease term in 2005, another three-year lease agreement was negotiated with the property owner. This agreement contained two additional one-year extensions.

The Eastern Connecticut Training School for Firemen, Inc. (doing business as the Eastern

Connecticut Fire School) has now been doing business for sixty years at this one location. The school has developed a proud tradition of exemplary service to fire departments across eastern Connecticut. More than 125 departments send students to training programs at this regional fire school.

The property on which the Eastern Connecticut Fire School is located has recently been purchased by the state of Connecticut and now belongs to the Commission of Fire Prevention and Control.

Design and planning is underway to raze the existing structures and to construct a new facility consisting of a Classroom and Administrative building, a Maintenance and Storage building, a new Training Tower and a new Class “A” Burn Building.