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Regional Training System

NextLevel Firefighter Training

Interest Form Now Closed

The Hub-and-Spoke Training Model Interest Form is now closed. IDHS thanks the many fire departments that submitted their interest in regional fire training sites or volunteer PPE. A committee established to review the submissions and allocate these resources is tasked with evaluating the criteria for funding, focusing on the largest impact across the state. The committee will be in touch with individual departments if additional information is needed. All awards will be communicated once decided.

First Hub-and-Spoke Sites Break Ground

The first four sites in the Hub-and-Spoke Firefighter Training plan have held groundbreaking ceremonies for their new fire training centers that will help bridge the gap between Hoosier communities' firefighters and much-needed training. These training centers will feature state-of-the-art, three-story training towers. The first sites are in Rensselaer, Linton, Wabash and Corydon.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, IDHS and fire leaders kicked off the first phase of these efforts this summer following the General Assembly earmarking funds earlier in 2023. Learn more below.


  • Rensselaer


  • Rensselaer


  • Linton


  • Linton


  • Wabash


  • Wabash


  • Corydon


  • Corydon

Map of training sites
This map is intended to represent the primary training sites currently existing and supported by state funding. Additional proposed sites are not finalized.

Hub-and-Spoke Training Model

Map of training sites
This map is intended to represent the primary training sites currently existing and supported by state funding. The proposed sites are not finalized.

The Hub-and-Spoke Firefighter Training plan brings training closer for firefighters across the state while also adding consistency and quality control to basic firefighter training in Indiana.

Expansion Begins

The first phase of this model includes four new physical training locations to be built in Corydon, Linton, Rensselaer and Wabash. These new sites are expected to be completed and ready for use in the first quarter of 2024. In total, the state will be investing $7.7 million in new training sites like the four initial sites. The goal with these funds is to provide high-quality, physical training structures within 30 miles or 45 minutes of all career and volunteer departments. The new sites will join more than a dozen sites already utilized for state firefighter training.

The updated training model includes a live burn training structure on the sites by IDHS. The sites will be locally owned and maintained, although the state will construct the training facility and help with site preparation where necessary.

In addition to the $7.7 million provided by the General Assembly in the most recent two-year budget, IDHS was also granted an additional $10 million to provide new personal protective equipment (PPE) for volunteer firefighters across the state. Of the nearly 870 fire departments across the state, more than 600 of these are volunteer fire departments. The goal with these funds is to fully outfit close to 900 volunteer firefighters with essential sets of PPE. Volunteer departments often operate with outdated equipment and little funding to replace it as needed.

Background

Legislation in 2015 established the Indiana Fire and Public Safety Academy system to meet the training needs of career and volunteer firefighters across the state. Many urban communities have their own training facilities, and the Academy hosts regular trainings to help fill the gaps to reach firefighters across Indiana. In 2022, the Academy trained nearly 2,300 people through a full curriculum of fire and hazmat training offerings. Still, many rural communities, most staffed by volunteers, find it difficult to travel to training sites. Additionally, the level of trainings may vary at sites not operated by the Academy.

To help address this shortfall, the Indiana General Assembly in 2023 approved more than $7 million to construct basic, physical firefighter training locations in areas of Indiana where firefighters must drive more than 30 miles to receive quality training.

These new training sites will be locally owned and maintained, and the state will support the construction of tower and burn facilities to allow for all hands-on firefighter training associated with the Firefighter I and Firefighter II required training. To be considered for one of these training locations, local communities must, at a minimum:

  • Be located in an identified area of need
  • Own property with the infrastructure to allow for live burn training, such as utilities and access for fire department apparatus
  • Open the site to regional fire departments for training

Additional considerations for site selection:

  • Support from local officials
  • Greatest impact to total population and fire departments within 30-mile radius

All sites will be outfitted with equipment packages that include structures and props to allow firefighters to experience live fire behavior at industry-standard levels.

Additional investments include $10 million in critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for volunteer fire departments and additional mobile training equipment for statewide use.

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