The Daily Herald has an article outlining plans for a new public safety training center in DuPage County:

College of DuPage officials say the nearest comprehensive training center for emergency first responders is in Texas, so they’re taking the lead in trying to bring one to Chicago’s suburbs.

The proposed Midwest Regional Training Center is envisioned as an off-campus training facility for local, state and federal agencies, as well as an emergency operations center where such groups can work together during a crisis.

The college has been looking at multiple locations — primarily in DuPage County — on which to build the training center that would cover between 30 and 50 acres. So far, officials haven’t revealed exactly which sites they’ve explored.

The construction price tag is estimated between $60 million and $75 million.

The facility would feature several indoor firearm ranges with simulations of weather conditions and moving targets, a tactical village to conduct mock shooter- and incident-response scenarios, emergency vehicle driving courses, a water rescue area, a burn tower, an airplane fuselage and a debris pit.

Joe Cassidy, the college’s dean for continuing education and extended learning, said the project fits well with goals set during a recent White House summit with community colleges and businesses that analyzed how schools can meet increased demands for job training.

Cassidy said elements of the proposed facility already exist in the area, but as a whole, “there’s nothing as comprehensive as what we’re talking about.”

Other agencies that have been active in conversations about the facility include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Illinois Emergency Management Agency; DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Chicago Police Department; BNSF Railway; and Canadian National Railway.

The college also sent a survey to gauge the interest of area police and fire departments and 130 have responded.

Wauconda Fire Chief Dave Dato said there are scattered locations throughout Lake County where “bare bones” training takes place, but the proposed facility would bring first responders throughout the region to one place.

Plans for the training center follow the opening of the $30 million, 66,000-square-foot Homeland Security Education Center on COD’s campus in fall 2011. The facility houses the college’s criminal justice and fire science/EMS programs and Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, which provides continuing education courses for area police department personnel. The building also features a “4D immersive street scene” and an emergency management center that was used by law enforcement agencies during the NATO summit last May.

The complete article is HERE.

thanks Chris

Tags: , , ,