ECC Center for Emergency Services
First envisioned as part of the campus master plan funded by the April 2009 bond referendum, the Elgin Community College Center for Emergency Services offers essential resources to students and community members, most notably education opportunities for current and future first responders. Classes began at the center in spring 2016. Equipment, facility features, and opportunities for training have been introduced in phases and will continue to evolve thanks to the involvement and feedback from ECC’s local community of first responder professionals.
Core to the 120-acre property is an academic building (Building BA) that includes dedicated classrooms for public safety communications, emergency medical services, criminal justice, and fire science. Classes in fire science were the first courses to be held when the center opened for instruction in late spring 2016. Courses and training options in other emergency services are being added continually.
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, there are two ponds, one to 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 actual equipment while also allowing trainees to practice driving in hazardous conditions.
- The classroom functions as an emergency operations center, in which students and trainees rehearse incident management and control. The room is also the temporary home for a table-top 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 skid pad that allows trainees in law enforcement and emergency services 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.
- With a semi-padded floor, the defensive tactics room provides a place for tactical training.
- The apparatus bay is a two-bay garage for emergency vehicles that serve as realistic, live learning environments. Currently, this includes an ambulance and two fire trucks.