The village of Ottawa Hills (OH) Fire and Rescue Department recently made a commitment to the future of emergency preparedness training in the region by donating a 1986 Ford Grumman Fire Engine and equipment to Owens Community College’s School of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Center for Emergency Preparedness.
The donated fire engine and equipment will be used to provide comprehensive, repeatable safety training for first responders related to various emergency response techniques. First responders will be able to conduct a variety of emergency response scenarios, including the controlling of a fire within a multi-story building, roof access, and fire fighting and rescue techniques from upper floors.
“Owens Community College is very appreciative to the village of Ottawa Hills and their commitment to experiential learning at the Center for Emergency Preparedness,” said Michele Johnson, Owens Chair of the School of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “The fire truck will have an immediate impact on providing our region’s first responders with the highest level in real-world, scenario training.”
According to Ottawa Hills Mayor Kevin Gilmore, the donation was made possible as a result of the Ottawa Hills Toledo Fire agreement for fire protection and will extend the life of the emergency vehicle by enabling it to be used for educational training purposes.
“The village of Ottawa Hills is extremely pleased to be able to work with Owens Community College and reach out and help the entire region of first responders with this donation,” stated Mayor Gilmore.
Before making its final trip to Owens’ Center for Emergency Preparedness, the apparatus provided over 12 years of emergency response service to citizens within the village of Ottawa Hills and mutual aid to surrounding communities. The fire truck and equipment will now be used as a hands-on educational training prop for the Center’s various scenario-based simulators.
Owens has been at the forefront in providing educational training to public safety forces for over three decades. In 2009, the College made a substantial investment in the future of emergency preparedness training within the region by officially opening the doors to a new $3.2 million Training and Operations Center at the Center for Emergency Preparedness. The facility provides first responders with expanded opportunities for real-world, scenario training highlighted by the only indoor emergency services virtual training system in the country.
In 2007, Owens marked a milestone in the academic institution’s history by opening a $20.5 million Center for Emergency Preparedness. The Center for Emergency Preparedness fulfills a need for a rather expansive complex within the region that can provide “real-world” training in a safe and controlled environment. Training scenarios that can be conducted within the new facility include those related to natural and manmade disasters involving hazardous materials, confined spaces, riots, entrapments and weapons of mass destruction, among others. Currently, there is no higher education facility for multi agencies to conduct concurrent emergency response training of this magnitude in the Midwest.
Since opening the facility, many police, fire and emergency services personnel, as well as the military, from Ohio and beyond, including the FBI, Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, have utilized the facility for either specialized or concurrent emergency preparedness training.