First Group from Greater Minnesota Using LSC's Emergency Training Center

Ryan Juntti
Updated: October 15, 2019 08:57 PM

For the first time, a group from Greater Minnesota is using Lake Superior College's Emergency Response Training Center (ERTC).


ERTC is hosting five new firefighters and two instructors from the Rochester Fire Department.

The Rochester Fire Department has a similar facility, but it's not ready for live fire training yet, so they reached out to LSC.

"For us to come up here and use it, it's a little glimpse of the future for us," said Capt. David Worstman of the Rochester Fire Department.

A glimpse of the future and a chance to train for the present.

"Really what they're learning here is how to be patient, how to properly utilize their training, how not to panic, and simply how to put the fire out in the most efficient way, and ultimately save lives and property by doing so," said Emergency Response Training Center Director Joe Tribbey.

Tuesday and Wednesday the firefighters are engaging in live hands-on burn training. Using hay and pallets for combustibles, the training is meant to simulate the conditions that firefighters experience in the field.

"What we can recreate here is some of the most realistic fire conditions in a non-real fire environment," said Tribbey.

"For us the problem is to find an acquired structure that we can just randomly burn down. Doesn't happen very often, so to actually use live fire training for our brand new firefighters, it's as realistic as possible for them," said Worstman.

This is a partnership that both LSC and the Rochester Fire Department hope burns strong for a long time.

"Having a major Minnesota city department come up and use our facility here ... that's a big deal," said Tribbey.

"It does have everything we need. For sure it's one of those partnerships that I don't think we're gonna forget about. It's gonna be something that we're gonna use on hopefully a regular basis," said Worstman.

Rochester Fire Department may not be the only department using the training center in the future. Tribbey says LSC would like to develop a training academy that local firefighters and those across the Upper Midwest could use as well.   

"We're hoping that this gets out, and that we have more departments across the Upper Midwest come and want to use it," said Tribbey.


Ryan Juntti

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