FVTC Dedicates Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting Training Center
Collaboration to provide critical training for airport first responders
Fox Valley Technical College, in partnership with Appleton International Airport, dedicated its Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Training Center (ARFF) today to provide training for airport first responders.
ARFF offers firefighting training involving airport ground emergencies and can recreate any scenario encountered on an airfield to provide real-world training exercises. The program offers FAA-required courses and custom-designed courses for individual airports and other agencies seeking ARFF instruction.
“The ARFF will ensure that airport firefighters are well prepared to respond when they are needed most,” says Dr. Chris Matheny, Fox Valley Technical College president. “The collaborative nature of the airport's relationship with Fox Valley Technical College has been a strong driver for the project and has enabled the airport to build this facility at a fraction of the cost while making training services more accessible to airport first responders.”
The $14 million facility was funded in part by a $12 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, with the remaining $2 million funded by the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics. Senator Tammy Baldwin assisted in securing federal funding to finance construction and equipment purchases for the project after similar facilities in Michigan and Minnesota closed.
“The closures of aircraft rescue and firefighting training facilities created a serious gap in training services throughout the Great Lakes Region, making it difficult for our airport firefighters and first responders to obtain their required annual training,” says Senator Baldwin. “Appleton International Airport and Fox Valley Technical College faced this challenge head on, and I am proud to support their partnership. I look forward to watching this center expand access to airport fire and rescue training services and grow our local economy as emergency professionals from across state lines travel to the Fox Valley.”
The training center features the world’s only Boeing 777 aircraft training prop and an Oshkosh Corporation 2019 6x6 Global Striker with a high-rise extendable turret with a piercing tip and can carry 3,000 gallons of water. The same equipment found at many U.S. airports will be found at the training center to familiarize students with equipment and situations they may see on the job.
“Thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of Fox Valley Technical College and the Appleton International Airport, this state-of-the-art facility will help fuel economic growth while providing airport first responders from across the country with high quality training,” says Rep. Mike Gallagher. “This collaboration represents the best of Northeast Wisconsin and will benefit our community for years to come.”