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IL: Midwestern University Partners with Fire, Police Departments for Training Exercises

July 31, 2015

by Office of Communications

Midwestern University recently partnered with several fire departments and law enforcement agencies to offer unique training opportunities utilizing unoccupied buildings on the Downers Grove Campus. The University provided the use of five, three-story dormitories scheduled for demolition this fall for local agencies to practice simulated fire calls, fire suppression skills, and other scenario-based training exercises.

"Midwestern University is proud to be a strong community partner with our local fire and law enforcement agencies," said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. "As we prepare to replace these older dormitories with a new state-of-the-art academic building, we are pleased that they could be put to good use for advanced training for emergency responders."

More than 500 participants from nine fire departments, the Downers Grove Police Department, the Ohio State Police Crime Lab, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) took part in the training over the course of 18 days. In addition to local crews, firefighters from Wisconsin and Indiana traveled to Downers Grove for this unique opportunity that included more than 90 live fires set on multiple stories of the old buildings.

"I really appreciate Midwestern University thinking of us and offering us this training opportunity. We almost never get the opportunity to train in such a large building," said Downers Grove Fire Chief James Jackson. "We were able to practice fire suppression, ventilation, and other firefighting strategies. This type of training helps us sharpen our skills and be the best we can be when a citizen calls for our help," he added. Members of the ATF also used the opportunity to conduct extensive firefighting research with the goal of improving firefighting technology, tactics, and investigation.

The unoccupied buildings also provided a training ground for the Downers Grove Police Department to practice rapid deployment tactics and other scenario-based exercises. "We've got a great partnership with Midwestern University and are very grateful to them for offering us this opportunity. It's very beneficial to have our officers train in a realistic environment," said Downers Grove Police Chief Robert Porter. The University has a long tradition of working closely with the local police and fire departments and has hosted other training exercises on the 105-acre campus. 

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Office of Communications
630.515.7333 (IL) or 623.572.3353 (AZ)