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U.S. fire administrator applauds collaboration of new Public Safety Training Center

Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Denis Onieal, EdD

Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Denis Onieal, EdD

During a visit to Elgin Community College last fall, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Denis Onieal, EdD, was impressed by the show of support for the college's new Public Safety Training Center. He saw more than representatives from area fire departments and state fire agencies. ECC faculty and administrators were also involved-something that surprised him.

”To be honest, I don't know if I've seen this level of cooperation and interest,” Onieal said. “I have never been in a meeting with so many college faculty about this subject. It inspires me. It encourages me.”

Onieal said the college's efforts in affiliating its fire sciences programs with the Illinois Fire Science Institute and adopting the National Professional Development Model and the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Initiative will put it “at the leading edge of what's going on in the future.” The center, located in Burlington, opened for classes in January.

The 119.7-acre site provides a location to help the college provide more training opportunities for current and future first responders. Core to the center is an academic building that includes dedicated classrooms for public safety communications, emergency medical services, criminal justice, and fire science.

The site also includes an apparatus building, which utilizes two bays for training on fire and police equipment and firetruck storage. A three-story burn tower can simulate residential and commercial fires. Additionally, two ponds provide water for firefighter training and search and rescue training. 


Related Link: Public Safety Training Center Plan

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