FENNIMORE — The Public Safety Complex at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has been approved as a certified firefighting exam site by the Wisconsin Technical College System State Fire Consultant.
The Fennimore exam site will allow firefighters to test in Fennimore, eliminating the need to travel outside of Southwest Wisconsin to receive certification.
“Many times students would have to go to adjoining districts, in Janesville or even Milwaukee to test,” said Karl Sandry, Southwest Tech Lead Fire Instructor. “They also had to rely on the facility schedule, sometimes waiting over a year to take an exam. Having an exam site in Fennimore will ease that burden.”
Thanks to the voter-approved referendum in 2008, local firefighters will no longer have to conquer that battle. Sandry extended his appreciation to the local firefighters in Southwest Wisconsin for their support of the facility.
“In addition to being approved as an exam site, Southwest Tech now has the ability to provide innovative training that will prepare firefighters for situations they will encounter in the field,” said Sandry. “It’s a great thing for our firefighters and our communities.”
Southwest Tech’s fire training building is a multi-use structure featuring two live burn rooms, search rooms, a rappelling platform, ventilation simulators, a sprinkler system, and a standpipe. An elevator shaft simulator is used for elevator rescue and rappelling. The building also accommodates ladders to gain access to upper levels for fire attack and rescue.
There is currently a large demand for firefighters in Southwest Wisconsin, and Sandry is hoping that the new testing facility will encourage more individuals to invest in their community as members of their local fire departments.
“All of the departments in our district are volunteer,” said Sandry. “Just as in any job, there are service members retiring and new people are needed to fill those positions. Individuals interested in becoming a member of their local fire department can take the required training and now the exam at Southwest Tech.”
The first certification test at Southwest Tech’s Public Safety Complex is a Firefighter II Certification scheduled for April 6.