State Fire Mashal’s Ohio Fire Academy Breaks Groundon Cutting-Edge Search and Rescue Tower

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) officially broke ground today on a five-story Search and Rescue Training Tower located on the SFM Ohio Fire Academy campus in Reynoldsburg. Today’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of a significant advancement in the future of firefighter and EMS training in Ohio.

The $16.7 million facility is designed to provide firefighter and EMS students with a controlled, realistic training environment for a wide range of rescue scenarios. Upon its completion in approximately 18 months, the structure will offer comprehensive training opportunities that are critical in preparing Ohio’s firefighters for high-rise rescues and complex emergency scenarios.

“The Ohio Fire Academy has made huge strides in providing comprehensive training opportunities for our brave first responders,” said Governor DeWine. “This new search and rescue training facility will ensure that our firefighters receive realistic training experience to build on their skills for responding to emergency situations in our communities.”

“This training tower represents a monumental step forward in our mission to equip Ohio’s firefighters and EMS personnel with the skills and experience they need to save lives,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon. “By providing a realistic, versatile training environment, we are investing in the safety of Ohioans and the preparedness of our brave first responders.”

During the groundbreaking, Marshal Reardon unveiled a detailed table-top model highlighting SFM’s vision for a next-generation firefighting training campus to benefit Ohio’s firefighting community.

“This new training tower is just the beginning,” Reardon said. “Our vision for the training campus of the future includes advanced facilities that will keep our firefighters at the forefront of modern emergency response. We are excited about the possibilities that continued investment will afford our firefighting community into the future, as we remain committed to continually enhancing our training capabilities in a way that will help ensure the safety of the communities in which we serve.”

The Search and Rescue Training Tower investment is the second training advancement project SFM has announced in the last year. In May 2023, Governor DeWine, Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield, and Marshal Reardon announced an [LINK] innovative new Search and Rescue Training House. This residential-style training facility provides firefighters and EMS students with a realistic training environment for various rescue scenarios, specifically for residential fires. The Search and Rescue House project completed construction in [LINK] February 2024.

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