PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH - Thousands of first responders will now have the opportunity to heighten their emergency preparedness skills in the latest experiential training and educational resource center around as Owens Community College’s Center for Emergency Preparedness formally opens the doors to a new $3.2 million Training and Operations Center.
The new facility will serve as the “hub” for the Center for Emergency Preparedness and provide first responders with expanded opportunities for real-world, scenario-based training highlighted by the only indoor emergency services virtual training system in the country.
“Owens Community College’s new Training and Operations Center is a welcome addition to the Center for Emergency Preparedness and fulfills a need for a rather expansive facility to conduct year-round training within a climate controlled setting,” said Michael Cornell, Owens Director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness. “Providing first responders with the highest level in realistic training is essential to preparing them for actual emergency situations. This new Training and Operations Center reinforces the College’s commitment to meeting the emergency preparedness education and training needs throughout the region and beyond by offering experiential learning resources unlike any other facility in the country.”
Owens representatives joined community leaders, first responders and elected officials in recently celebrating the new state-of-the-art facility’s unveiling with an official ribbon cutting ceremony, which highlighted the emergency services virtual training system, and an open house.
Owens’ new 28,790 square-foot Training and Operations Center was built at the west entrance to the Center for Emergency Preparedness and is intended to provide first responders with expanded opportunities for real-world, scenario training highlighted by the only indoor emergency services virtual training system in the country. The virtual training system features a one-of-a-kind video projection scenario program, which is displayed onto separate glass walls located within four separate pods. First responders will have the opportunity to conduct a variety of structure burn scenarios within each 221 square-foot pod to include residential, commercial, processing and electrical fires, using actual water in a controlled virtual fire and smoke-filled environment. The system is designed to replicate a city scene with various buildings ranging from a single- to four-story complex. Actual virtual training scenarios include a bedroom fire, storage facility fire, washer/dryer fire and a living room fire, among many others. In addition to virtual fire training opportunities, the Center for Emergency Preparedness in the midst of developing several other scenarios to include a virtual school house active shooter training exercise.
A total of seven rooms comprise the emergency services structure, as well as a pitched roof ventilation training system area for individuals to conduct exercises using various types of equipment and techniques.
Additionally, the structure will feature a Firearms Training System (FATS), which is an interactive simulated system designed to provide training in the handling and use of small and supporting firearms, as well as confronting hostile assailants. Two stairwells, a Bose sound system, infrared training monitoring cameras and a fire sprinkler training system are also housed within the four-story emergency services structure. The exterior of the indoor building can be used for high angle rescue, ground and aerial ladder drills, apparatus placement, high rise hose evolution, and rappel entry and exit training. The entire 62-foot high bay complex, which also features 10 overhead garage doors, can simulate heavy smoke conditions produced through five smoke generators.