Wabash selected by state for regional fire training center
1 Sep 2023
Wabash County, IN – The City of Wabash has been identified by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) as one of four communities that will house a regional fire training center.
The decision was made as part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s “2023 Next Level Agenda” and will result in $7.7 million being invested across the state to build and launch these training sites. In addition to Wabash, sites will also be built in Corydon, Linton and Rensselaer.
The Wabash Fire Department applied to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) to be a location for the regional fire training center. IDHS made site visits and conferred with Wabash Fire Department staff before choosing Wabash as one of four initial sites. Multiple letters of support were submitted with the application, including a letter of support from the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association (IVFA) Regional Representative and State Representative Lorissa Sweet among others.
“Having a regional fire training center located in the City of Wabash and run by our Wabash Fire Department personnel speaks to the level of professionalism of our department. Live fire training is the best way to prepare both new and seasoned firefighters to be ready for any scenario they may encounter. This will allow both paid and volunteer firefighters to be on top of their profession,” said Mayor Scott Long.
These training centers, including the one in Wabash, will provide firefighters from both volunteer and career departments in the area with access to high-quality training structures to better prepare them for the job. Any certified fire instructor can conduct training at the Wabash Fire Training Center.
“You cannot quantify the need for required fire training. The number of scenarios this facility will allow us to train for is immeasurable. We will be able to train in live fire scenarios for basements, stairwells, single story to multiple story structures, commercial buildings, roof ventilation, and high angle rescue to name a few. This will be the first training facility of this type in Wabash County, and we are fortunate to receive this facility,” said Wabash Fire Chief Barry Stroup.
Per the ISDH, plans are in place to start construction on these facilities quickly with the goal of being ready to start training firefighters in early 2024. The Wabash training facility will be in the Wabash County Industrial Park off Wedcor Ave on land donated by Grow Wabash County.
“We are excited to partner with the City of Wabash, the Wabash Fire Department, and the IHDS on this project,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County. “We have partnered with the Wabash Fire Department for the last couple of years to bring training opportunities and certifications for their team, and this project aligns perfectly with our efforts. Locating this facility inside one of our industrial parks is a perfect synergy for the city, our businesses and industry, and for the health and safety of our community at large.”