New training center at Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY — A new training center at Camp Ripley will allow emergency response and public safety personnel to train the way they respond —together. The Emergency Management Training Center (EMTC), a joint venture of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Minnesota National Guard, officially opened April 11. Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Brigadier General Neal Loidolt cut the ribbon to open the center. In an email release, Dohman said everyone in Minnesota stands to benefit from this venture because the more training and knowledge our responders have, the safer our communities become.
Responders from many disciplines: Fire, police, sheriff, emergency management and others will train side-by-side. Integrated Emergency Management courses may include a number of exercise scenarios including tornadoes, bridge or building collapse, train derailment and chemical spills.
“The facility will allow us to conduct integrated training and exercises in a realistic but safe environment,” said Kris Eide, the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, a division of DPS. “It will be a cornerstone of our vision which is keeping Minnesota ready.”
Prior to the center opening, emergency management and public safety personnel had to travel out of state for sophisticated training. Not anymore.
“Whether it’s severe weather, hazardous material spills or an act of terrorism, highly trained emergency responders can make a difference between life and death, and now emergency responders can save time and travel costs through utilization of the facility,” said Brig. Gen. Neal Loidolt, the Joint Chief of Staff for the Minnesota National Guard.
The EMTC also will be used to train future emergency managers in Minnesota. HSEM offers a certification program and courses will be held at the EMTC. Organizations and agencies will be able to use and rent training and classrooms at the EMTC.
Eide said the center wouldn’t be possible without many hours of hard work by partners across the state as well as support from local lawmakers. About 115 people attended the open house, including elected and appointed officials from Little Falls and Morrison County and members of the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers.
The National Guard will use the facility for Improved Explosive Device training, as well as large joint exercises utilizing the recently completed Combined Arms Collective Training Facility — a life-like small city.
“One mission of the National Guard is to provide support to civilian agencies in the event of natural disasters,” said Camp Ripley Deputy Post Commander, Lt. Col. Todd Kubista. “Training and preparedness is the key to being able to provide fast, efficient and well coordinated services to Minnesota Citizens.”
For information on scheduling use of the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility contact Jim Krousey at (320) 616-2708.