ECC Center for Emergency Services
The Elgin Community College Center for Emergency Services in Burlington, Illinois, provides essential education and training for first responders, including police, fire, and paramedics. It was part of the 2009 bond-funded campus master plan and started classes in 2016. The center's success depends on local first responder input and offers specialized equipment, practical training facilities, and resources for effective emergency response training, contributing to community safety and preparedness.
Core to the 120-acre property is an academic building (Building BA) with dedicated classrooms for public safety communications, emergency medical services, criminal justice, and fire science. Classes in fire science were the first courses held at the center when it opened for instruction in late spring 2016. Courses and training options in other emergency service areas are being added.
The site also includes an apparatus building (Building BB), which features two bays for training on police and fire equipment and fire truck storage. A three-story burn tower (Building BD) can simulate residential and commercial fires. Additionally, two ponds provide water for firefighter training and another that could be used for other training needs.
- Two emergency vehicle driving simulators—one for police, one for fire—allow students and professionals to sharpen their driving techniques. Simulators prevent wear and tear on equipment while allowing trainees to practice driving in hazardous conditions.
- The classroom is an emergency operations center where students and trainees rehearse incident management and control. It is also the temporary home for a tabletop model city, a useful incident management training resource for students and practitioners.
- The property offers a 139,400 square-foot driving pad, which includes a 28,200 square-foot skidpad that allows law enforcement and emergency services trainees to develop their driving skills.
- The forensics lab is for actual law enforcement investigations, including a digital access control system that records the information of anyone who logs in to access evidence files.
- The defensive tactics room provides a place for tactical training with a semi-padded floor.
- The apparatus bay is a two-bay garage for emergency vehicles serving realistic, live learning environments. Currently, this includes an ambulance and two fire trucks.