The Center for Emergency Preparedness is the result of a consortium of law enforcement, fire and emergency medical experts and homeland security professionals who helped shape the development and design of the facility. Located within a secured perimeter, the 150-acre training center is home to some of the most significant training simulators found within the United States.
Collaborating with the nation’s leading emergency services professionals and institutions of higher learning, the Center for Emergency Preparedness now offers a wide range of training certificates and degree programs that are enhanced by the hands-on training capabilities found within the Center.
Training simulators and props found within the Center include:
Five-Story Computer Controlled Fire Training Tower
The five-story fire training tower features state-of-the-art technology and resources to conduct hands-on instruction and exercises. The 5,020 square-foot fire structure contains three live burn floors and four interior burn areas. Three of the burn rooms are designed and engineered for fires involving combustible liquid (Liquid Petroleum Gas) and simulate conditions similar to residential, commercial, processing or electrical equipment fires. The facility features several props within the three burn rooms (kitchen, storage/bedroom and office) for live-fire simulations, including a stove and cabinet fire, a shelf/bed fire and a desk/computer fire. Additionally, the burn building houses a burn area for Class A fire training involving such combustible materials as wooden products. The live fire structure also includes a 735 square-foot attic simulation. The entire facility can simulate heavy smoke conditions produced through a state-of-the-art smoke generator. The burn building also houses a pitched-roof ventilation training area, a two-story vertical confined space shaft and a moveable wall search and rescue maze. State-of-the-art operational sprinkler and standpipe systems, an emergency smoke evacuation system and pressurized stairways are also featured. Additionally, the facility is designed for high angle rescue, ground and aerial ladder drills, high rise hose evolution, rappel entry and exit, automatic sprinkler training, and use by EMS and law enforcement agencies.
The Boeing 727 is located on a large pad simulating an airport tarmac. Located nearby is a large passenger bus that can be integrated into a training scenario with the aircraft. The airframe is set up as a passenger jet with the aft end of the aircraft designed as a cargo holding area. This combination allows for hostage rescue scenarios, linear assault training, drug courier interdiction, hazardous materials and explosives scenarios and much more. The cockpit is accessible for training purposes and all of the exits and over wing emergency exits can be used during training. The aircraft is frequently used as a portion of movie sets for production purposes.
Mock City that includes a Bank, Gas Station with Convenience Store, an Emergency Room and several Single Family Homes that include an Evidence House and a Meth Lab
Our mock city, affectionately called Responderville, includes a variety of full-scale structures designed to simulate various levels of emergency response scenarios for first responder training. Replicating a community infrastructure, the mock city features a 1,456 square-foot gas station, convenience store, three non-operational pumps, as well as a 1,705 square-foot bank. Additionally, the training area includes a residential structure and a search and rescue maze structure, which will feature an array of obstacles such as hanging wires, collapsing stairs and furniture. The two newest additions to Responderville are a mock hospital emergency department and a terrorist safe house that has its own mock meth lab, bomb lab and a chemical and biological weapons lab. The mock city will provide trainees with the latest in hands-on instruction and educational resources to conduct multi-agency response scenarios such as bank robberies, felony vehicle chases, bomb searches, drug searches, hazardous material emergencies, response to a RDD, hostage situations, rescue operations, medical emergencies, domestic violence disturbances and methamphetamine lab situations. The various structures can also be filled with theatrical smoke to simulate dust, fire or hazardous material fumes, as well as stage movable vehicle accident training, featuring extrication exercises.
Urban Search and Rescue Building Collapse Simulator
The search and rescue collapse simulator consists of a 1,290 square-foot maze of concrete pipes buried under large quantities of construction material and debris to simulate a building, bridge or other structure destroyed by natural or man-made causes. The 11,000 square-foot “rubble pile” contains six different entrances (two atop the collapsed structure and four at ground level) for individuals to simulate various types of collapse patterns. The concrete pipes, which are approximately six inches thick and six feet in diameter, can be filled with theatrical smoke to simulate dust, fire or hazardous material fumes. The structure itself mirrors the size of a commercial two-story building and is designed to provide the latest in hands-on instruction in breaching, cutting, and search and rescue operations.
Confined Space Rescue Simulator
The Center for Emergency Preparedness’ confined space rescue simulator is designed to provide a realistic, yet safe environment to conduct specialized rescue training and confined space activities. Multiple PVC pipes, which range in size from four feet in diameter to a mere 18 inches in diameter, replicate various non-level below grade environments such as sewer, mineshaft and culvert size area rescues. The 23,800 square-foot “grassy knoll” contains eight different entrances (four atop the mound and four at ground level) for individuals to replicate many different vertical and horizontal rescue simulations. The confined space rescue simulator will provide trainees with the latest in hands-on instruction and educational resources related to atmosphere testing and space ventilation for the removal of harmful gases and vapors. The structure, which is approximately the size of a two-story building, also features two vaults and/or shafts within the tunnel network that descends eight and 18 feet below ground level. The PVC pipes and vaults and/or shafts can be flooded to simulate working in a flooded or a partially flooded environment, as well as filled with theatrical smoke to simulate dust, fire or hazardous material fumes.
Water/Dive/Ice Rescue Training Pond
The Center features an oval-shaped pond that is 32 feet in depth. The base of the 60 feet by 192 feet pond is surfaced with clay, while rock encircles the training prop at the water surface. The dive and rescue pond is designed to provide first responders an experiential learning venue to conduct simulated hazardous waste clean-up, containment, and dive and water rescue exercises. Owens’ dive and rescue pond also includes an elevated shelf below the water surface to conduct appropriate dive and rescue procedures. The facility also includes an additional pond for Hazardous Materials Simulations.
The Center features an extensive array of vehicles, including buses, semi-tractors, suburban trucks and pickup trucks, for individuals to receive experiential training related to motor vehicle accidents. Various scenarios will be staged for first responders to use the scrapped motor vehicles for training in removing people from wrecks, including vehicle stabilization, vehicle disassembling and patient packing. Additionally, the extrication vehicles will be used in training scenarios involving other simulators, including the mock city, the dive and rescue pond, the rail car rescue simulator; the aircraft rescue simulator and the skills/skid pad.
Fire Behavior Lab (Flashover Trainer)
The Fire Behavior Lab allows students to observe fire behavior in various stages of burning. From the incipient stage through a flashover, the lab provides valuable hands on experience that exposes the class to the warning signs of potentially disastrous fire behavior. The lab allows students to witness, interact with and learn techniques to prevent and control fire behavior and to do so in a safe and controlled environment. The lab is mobile and can be brought to your agency for training purposes.
Search and Rescue Trainer
This training prop is used to refresh and hone the skills of firefighters, K9 search animals and various other students in building searches in adverse or fire conditions. The facility can be blacked out or filled with theatrical smoke to assimilate a working fire. Inside students will find spongy floors, collapsing stairs, attic mazes, various obstacles that include furniture, exposed wiring and potential for entanglement in damaged ductwork and other types of challenges. Completion of this course instills the individual with self-confidence and the critical reasoning skills to deal with life threatening hazards.
Live Propane BLEVE Simulator
The Center features a 1,100 square-foot stationary simulator for individuals to replicate various Liquid Petroleum Gas emergency scenarios involving common storage containers for residential and commercial use. The fuel tank is equipped with Liquid Petroleum Gas burners that simulate vapor and liquid vent fires for training in safe approach with a hose line, cooling and extinguishing of flammable liquid fires. The simulator will allow individuals to conduct a variety of fuel tank burn scenarios, including the controlling of a fire through the use of streaming water at the point of flame impingement. Such training practices will enable individuals to learn about preventative measures to minimize risk of a fuel tank explosion. Additionally, the 500 gallon stationary fuel tank fire simulator features the latest in state-of-the-art safety precautions. The training prop is electrically fueled and controlled by an underground Liquid Petroleum Gas line and is designed to provide comprehensive, repeatable training applications such as apparatus placement, hose advancement, extinguishment and overhaul.
The Center for Emergency Preparedness is home to an assortment of railroad cars. The spur line consists of a box car, pressurized tank car and a hopper car. Combined or separately this prop plays host to a series of training opportunities that include confined space access and rescue, hazardous materials training, search and seizure training, bombing scenarios, response to railroad emergencies, and many more.
Rail Tanker Car and Truck Tanker Live Fire Simulator
The rail car and truck tanker fire simulators allow students to experience various live fire scenarios involving a pressurized rail tanker car. The props are equipped with Liquid Petroleum gas burners that simulate Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVE), Pressure Relief Device Fire, and an overflow fire, along with various other live fire conditions. The units are controlled via an operator at a computer panel and is designed for safety. Training will allow for students to exercise various tactics in cooling, approaching and extinguishing a flammable liquids based fire.
Car Fire Simulator
The car fire simulator allows students to experience various live fire scenarios involving a motor vehicle. The prop is equipped with Liquid Petroleum gas burners that simulate an engine compartment fire, passenger compartment fire and a fuel tank BLEVE, along with various other live fire conditions. The unit is controlled via an operator at a computer panel and is designed for safety. Training will allow for students to exercise various tactics in cooling, approaching, searching and extinguishing a car based fire.
Training and Operations Center and Emergency Service Virtual Training System
The 29,000 square-foot Training and Operations Center was built at the west entrance to the Center for Emergency Preparedness and provides first responders with expanded opportunities for real-world, scenario training highlighted by the only 4-story 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. The system is upgradeable to include Active Shooter Scenarios for Law Enforcement, Hazardous Materials Training and building collapse scenarios. In addition to virtual fire training opportunities, the Center offers indoor rope training off the 50-foot tower and emergency bailout and rapid intervention training.
A total of seven rooms on four floors comprise the emergency services structure, as well as pitched roof ventilation training system area for individuals to conduct exercises using various types of equipment and techniques. Additionally, the structure features 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 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, chemical clouds and fog conditions produced through five smoke generators.
Additional Training and Operations Center features include six classrooms, eight offices, two reception areas and locker room facilities. The facility also houses Owens School of Public Safety and Center for Emergency Preparedness staff. The building also serves as the primary training facility for OPOTA Police Academy courses.
Roof Ventilating System
Our ground level multi-pitched roof ventilation training system is designed to allow students to have the opportunity to “sound” and vent a roof using various types of equipment and techniques. The simulator can be changed to reflect various materials and construction types to add a challenge and encourage the development of critical-thinking skills. Safety is a priority in this training prop and the reason why it is contained within a safety railing and located just a few feet above ground level.
Agricultural Rescue Area
The new agriculture rescue simulation will allow students to confront a variety of rescue challenges that include toppled farm equipment, entrapment on a Power Take Off (PTO) and within a corn chopper. Students will be able to use the silo simulator and the rescue shoot to effect a silo rescue.
Emergency Vehicle Operations and Driving Course
The 80-acre skills/skid pad serves as an area for first responders to conduct an array of driving techniques within a controlled road environment. The training site consists of 1.2 miles of driving track and two skills/skid pads. The driving track is connected to a 276 feet by 740 feet skills/skid pad, while a 300 feet by 50 feet skills/skid pad is adjacent to the driving area. The three driving areas, respectively, offer individuals the opportunity to receive hands-on instruction and scenario training to sharpen their driving skills, preventing and reducing the severity of potential collisions and accidents. The skills/skid pad allows first responders to practice a variety of driving techniques within police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances, and corporate vehicles including controlled braking, off-road recovery, evasive maneuvers, parallel parking, handling dry and slippery curves, skid control and anti-lock brake system training. Individuals also can conduct training exercises in simulated adverse weather conditions, as well as practice various training scenarios, such as traffic stops, traffic pursuits and emergency rescues.