Sen. Nelson Attends Groundbreaking at New First Responder Regional Public Training Facility
Sen. Carla Nelson was on hand to open the Regional Public Training Facility in Rochester today. The new $2.95 million dollar center is slated to open in Fall 2013, and will provide local first responders – police, fire, and rescue – with a state-of-the-art training facility that will include a live burn training tower, weapons training range, driving course, K-9 facility, and future simunition house (a place to provide trainees with live scenario-based training in a realistic, but extremely safe, environment). Classroom space will be available to first responders in the nearby Public Works Service Center.
“This facility provides needed training for our local heroes, those public servants who put themselves on the front lines of danger to rescue, protect, and give aid to others,” Sen. Nelson commented. The training facility was fourteen years in the making to get the project from its initial idea to today’s groundbreaking. Sen. Nelson was a co-sponsor of the bill that got the ball rolling when she was a member of the Minnesota House, but the bill stalled in the Senate in 2003. In 2012, as a senator, Sen. Nelson was able to help keep the funding in place to get us to the point of completion for the facility.
“We expect our police department, sheriffs, EMTs, and firefighters to be prepared and to be able to perform flawlessly at all times, even in the toughest conditions,” Sen Nelson remarked. “Lives depend on the kind of training that enables our first responders to act competently and professionally, and make decisions with confidence.”
“The Regional Public Training Facility is a great collaborative effort with our neighbors, giving our smaller communities the opportunity to train in realistic situations, closer to home,” Sen. Nelson added. “And it will also provide great cooperation with higher education programs, such as hands-on training for Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) students in their renowned police programs.”
Funding for the facility was secured through bonding bills and matching county funds. Ownership of the facility will be shared between Olmsted County and the State of Minnesota. Major partners utilizing the facility include the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and several other County departments, Rochester Police and Fire Departments, Regional Firefighters Group, RCTC, and the Federal Medical Center.