Winter Haven has yet another reason to be proud in realm of education. On Friday, January 8th Polk State College held its grand opening for their $30+ million state-of-the-art Center for Public Safety located at 1251 Jim Keene Boulevard, Winter Haven, directly next to the Sheriff's Office headquarters and the Emergency Operations Center.
This new 101,450 square-foot center allows for all of the first responder training to be done under one roof and includes the Polk State Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, Criminal Justice program, Emergency Medical Services Program and the Fire Science Technology Program.
What struck me the most about this incredible facility is the amount of care taken in planning out the facility to create the most realistic and immersive environment to train future (and current) first-responders. Its layout and technology was developed not only by the architect, Phil Wegman of Furr & Wegman out of Lakeland, but also by the Sheriff's office, the police and fire chiefs from numerous municipalities and the faculty of the school.
As quoted on Polk State's website, Sheriff Grady Judd stated, “The immersive training lab will break new ground in public safety professional education. It is another example of how Polk State College is a state and national leader in providing the highest quality training for emergency responders. The versatility of the immersive training lab will allow for multiple training scenarios to prepare our public safety staff for the challenges and complex situations they will face.”
The school includes the following:
Take a look at the videos and the photo gallery below for more about the technologically-advanced Center.
The video below is an example of a program that can interact with students learning how to communicate with suspects. In the scenario below the teacher can evolve the scenario based on how the student is interacting with the suspect.
Polk State has many lifelike mannequins to teach EMS and Paramedic students with real-life scenarios. The professors can change the scenarios from a computer. One particular mannequin can actually give birth.
This demo of a SWAT team training in the 3,600-square-foot training area, complete with mock storefronts and jail cell, and a movable wall system for creating new, ever more challenging, training scenarios.