(WKBN) — Representatives gathered on Thursday for the groundbreaking of a search and rescue house, designed to aid in the training of firefighters and EMS students.

Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield, State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon and others gathered to break ground on the new facility, set to be a highly versatile training simulation platform that will provide firefighter and EMS students with a realistic training environment for various rescue scenarios.

The two-story structure will be a wood-framed, residential-style training building/home. It will feature removable systems designed specifically for forcible entry and search training, enhancing the authenticity of the training experience.

New Search & Rescue training house for Fire Marshals
The design for the new search and rescue house. Courtesy: State Fire Marshal

Electric utilities will be incorporated into the structure to facilitate lighting, emergencies and training purposes. Additionally, heating will be provided for freeze protection and ventilation systems will be installed in accordance with the applicable code requirements. The objective is to create a safe and dynamic training environment that prepares firefighters for real-life scenarios they may encounter in the field.

“The groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Ohio Fire Academy’s commitment to delivering exceptional training experiences,” Reardon said. “The state-of-the-art search and rescue house will stand as a testament to the academy’s dedication to preparing firefighters and EMS students for the challenges they may face in the line of duty.”

Construction of the search and rescue house is scheduled to be completed in November 2023.