From Vision to Reality - Part 3

This is the final installment of a three-part series about the creation of a state-of-the-art technical rescue training center – the Monroe County, NY, Public Safety Training Facility (PSTF). Part one (June 2011) described how the Monroe County fire...

The primary student entry point into the void simulator is also in this area. By placing the two aspects together, students face the realistic challenge of working in and around other obstacles as they make entry into a structure. Adjacent to this area is one of the many lockout simulators being installed to enhance realism. On the interior of the building a number of other props are available as standalone training areas or they can be included in larger scenarios. A door and window prop aid in the development of exterior shoring skills. Two locations for vertical or dead shores also add to the options for students.

An adjustable header designed into the building provides additional value to the project. First, it lets facilitators create multiple challenges for students. A sloped floor shore is one of the skills that provide a challenge when setting up a course. Having the adjustability of the header lets instructors cover all components of a lesson plan.

Second, and the most cost-effective component of the design, is the ability to raise and lower the header. As the header is lowered the same skill sets can be accomplished using much of the lumber from previous rotations. This allows maximum student involvement in all components of the scenario.

With fixed header props, instructors tend to use the same lengths of lumber over and over to conserve materials and minimize operational costs. This activity limits a student’s ability to practice the specific skills associated with the cutting station.

Keeping the Vision Alive

The commitment of the college to provide the highest level of training options to the community and region is a multi-phase event. With the building in place, planned course offerings will create the full-time equivalents (FTE) needed at all educational facilities. FTEs represent the financial aspect that fuels our educational system. By generating income for the college the vision can be sustained for future generations to enjoy.

Continuing with the focus on team work, the Monroe County Fire Bureau’s (MCFB) training coordinator is working with his counterparts at MCC to develop additional training programs related to technical rescue. Local departments with specialized response capabilities are using the structure for annual drills and in-service proficiency training.

Marketing is another element in the facility’s future success. The more people know of the technical rescue building’s existence and capabilities, the more they will use it. Western New York is an area with limited specialized response capability. For that reason, the MCFB is working to create a local response capability to provide these services to members of its immediate community and be available to surrounding counties.

Through multiple years of grant activities related to USAR operations, the MCFB has acquired many of the specialized pieces of equipment needed for these operations. These additions augment the already extensive cache of equipment within the county. With the facility built and the equipment in place, the training and preparedness levels for the community’s responders will only get better.


Projects of this nature require a high degree of coordination before they can function properly. This facility is a cornerstone of the future success of that vision. This third segment on the creation of a technical rescue facility is the end of the series; however, it is not the end of the project. Each year, other props are recommended and reviewed for feasibility in an effort to enhance the school’s ability to offer students the best level of training possible.

As the training facility grows, I will provide updates on new props and activities taking place on campus. Thank you to all the staff at MCC and the MCFB who assisted in the development of this series.