- Created on Thursday, 31 October 2013 16:37
- Written by IVN
Sacramento, California - Today, the State of California continues to lead the nation in highly specialized Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) training by breaking ground on the construction of a new training facility in Rancho Cordova.
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director, Mark Ghilarducci, and the Cal OES Fire and Rescue Chief, Kim Zagaris, attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the State Fire and Rescue Training Authority, a site that will be home to training current and future US&R personnel in the most fundamental to the most complex disaster response skills that will one day save lives and property.
A collaborative partnership between public and private entities, this project is the culmination of 20 years of planning. The entire project is funded by State and Federal resources and, as Director Ghilarducci says, will benefit not just our community, but our entire state and country.
"This training facility will not only benefit the Urban Search and Rescue teams locally, but 21 other regional teams, fire agencies across the state and the national system sending their teams to these grounds for advanced training," Ghilarducci said. "In the end, this center will be a national asset."
Spread over 53 acres, this emergency response training center, will host realistic training scenarios for the world's worst natural and man-made disasters. The personnel that will undergo intense instruction will be at the front lines of state, national and international emergency responses. California Urban Search and Rescue Teams have been deployed to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, 1994 Northridge earthquake, 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, 2011 earthquake and tsunami of Japan and Hurricane Sandy.
"This facility will be the latest and greatest in the country," Zagaris said. "Trainees are going to see realistic disaster scenarios here, such as collapsed buildings, and a crashed 727 aircraft, which will give them critical experience for when the real thing happens."
The first phase of construction includes all of the training props necessary to keep Urban Search and Rescue Teams certified and deployable, which includes a 3-story structure collapse, trench rescue, breaking and breaking pads and a confined space maze. For more information about Urban Search and Rescue Teams or the State Fire and Rescue Training Authority, visit www.caloes.ca.gov or follow us on Twitter @Cal_OES.