CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been a long wait but now there’s a new fire training center at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center.

“It truly has a regional feel to it because everyone in the area is able to come use it,” said Austintown Fire Chief Andy Frost.

After months of construction, the ribbon was cut on the MCCTC fire training center Monday.

Its main purpose is to host high school and adult firefighter certification programs. Beyond that, Frost said this building improves public safety.

“If we want to come and train our current firefighters in here, we can. So it’s really open to everybody.”

“Ohio’s fire service is seeing an increasing call volume every year,” State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey said.

He made the trip from Columbus to see the new building.

Hussey said while the demand gets higher, every year, fewer and fewer people train to become volunteer or career firefighters. That’s a problem no one can afford to have.

“I think it’s a really important story to tell people that you can get into this business with some vocational training, firefighter and paramedic training, and be in the workforce within a couple years with very little or no student debt.”

Frost said the idea for this building has been in the works for a while now.

Thirty-five years ago, his father — a former Austintown fire chief — and two other local fire chiefs wanted a training building on campus. The program just needed more support and that’s why today, they’d be proud.

“It just took a lot of years to get it,” Frost said. “Thank God for the new administration, the board and the legislators. They all made that happen for us.”