Southwestern College opened its Public Safety Training Center Friday, which is intended to train hundreds of students for careers in public safety, firefighting and paramedic/EMT services.
"Our community's belief in preparing our future first responders has turned the dreams of our public safety faculty, administrators and staff into this $29.1 million complex," said Roberto Alcantar, governing board vice president at Southwestern College. "These buildings show the community's commitment to provide the facilities our students deserve."
Students at the Public Safety Training Center will receive an array of firsthand experience throughout their education. Along with a renovated police obstacle track, the center will include a single-story scenario apartment simulator and live-fire tower. The fire simulator is the only one of its kind available to a community college in the region.
The Public Safety Training Center also includes a multi-bay apparatus building to accommodate emergency vehicles, a multi-purpose instructional building and a renovated track for police obstacles and other fitness training equipment.
"This work would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of our faculty, staff and administrators who work with honor and pride in service to our community," said Southwestern College Superintendent/President Mark Sanchez. "As we're now a fully accredited school by the State Fire Training, our fire science students will now be able to graduate with their State Firefighter One certifications and push the rest of our students to achieve their professional goals."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT and paramedic jobs are expected to grow by 6% between 2019 and 2029 in the U.S. For those pursuing a career as a firefighter, the field is expected to see an 8% increase in jobs in the next decade. For police officers and detective professionals, the job rate is forecast to increase by 5% by 2030.