CVTC's new Fire and Paramedic Training Center will benefit the community

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- All of our area Fire and Police Departments along with volunteer Firefighters in smaller towns will soon have access to a brand new training facility.

It's part of a new Fire and Paramedic Training Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

CVTC calls the new center a "state of the art" facility. When it's finished, it'll include a live burn area; a preparation and observation area; storage for emergency service vehicles; and a physical fitness training area for the fire, paramedic and law enforcement students.

“We really emphasize the applied learning, the hands-on learning. We want to replicate real life situations as much as possible so when they do happen students and the existing workers will have that experience and more confidence,” said the President of CVTC Bruce Barker.

“The hands-on training is very, very important. It allows us to have that firefighter to go from a new firefighter to a productive firefighter a lot quicker,” said Deputy Chief of the Eau Claire Fire Rescue, Scott Burkart.

Burkart said a fair share of new firefighters that are hired, have attended CVTC. And the more experience they have right away, the more beneficial it is to the community the department serves.

“It’s less ‘on the job’ type of training that we have to do. That is a cost savings to us also,” said Burkart.

The Eau Claire Fire Department also has a mutual aid agreement with a lot of surrounding fire departments.

Burnkart said knowing the training came from one institution, will help everyone to mesh much better, and react quicker.

“Everyone will benefit from it, not only the firefighters, but also the communities too, because it's a cost effective way to get that experience and training that we can't receive any other place,” said Burkart.

“Our police and fire deal with life-threatening situation all the time, so providing them better training; they will be more aped to have confidence to perform better in those situations. It may save your life or my life someday,” said Barker.

The CVTC foundation and L.E. Philips Family Foundation came up with the money for the facility. The construction is expected to start toward the end of May and be ready for the students this Fall.

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