Friday marks a landmark day for first responders in North Texas as Collin College officially opens its massive Public Safety Training Center.
The 25-acre Public Safety Training Center houses the latest technology for first responders and will be home to training for law enforcement officers, firefighters, cadets and active duty first responders.
Police officers are able to train in a "reality-based training area." The area is made basically main street of a town, but housed inside. Each building can house a different real-life scenario that trainees must navigate and negotiate. The scenarios are based on actual incidents that happened in the nearby Collin County community.
Officers also have three indoor shooting ranges to fine tune marksmanship and accuracy.
“Having a facility like this with police and fire – we are going to be able to do cross training that we just haven’t seen in this area,” Law Enforcement Academy director Scott Donaldson said. “[In the past] officers have had to use travel funds – we are now going to be able to do it here locally.”
On the firefighting side of the complex is state-of-the-art training equipment that could save lives of both rescuer and civilian. There are two multi-story burn buildings where firefighters can train in home, apartment and office building scenarios.
“This facility allows us to create the most realistic scenarios yet maintain a high level of safety while they are doing their training,” Fire Science and EMS director Pat McAuliff said.
While the cities of McKinney and Allen partnered with Collin College, first responders from all over the state will train at the facility.