Rensselaer will be one of four new training sites as part of the state of Indiana’s plan to expand firefighting training.
Gov. Eric Holcomb prioritized more funding for firefighting training in his 2023 Next Level Agenda. The state will invest $7.7 million in all on new training locations.
“Indiana will always support its public safety personnel, who selflessly risk their lives to protect the communities in which they live,” Holcomb said in a press release. “This plan will ensure that Hoosier firefighters have the skills and the equipment necessary to do their job safely and effectively.”
The first phase of the plan includes the building of four new training sites, in Corydon, Linton, Rensselaer and Wabash.
The four sites should be complete by the first quarter of next year. The goal is to provide training opportunities in sites 45 minutes within all fire departments.
“When you look at the gaps we have in fire training, it’s primarily in rural areas,” said Steve Jones, Indiana state fire marshal. “Volunteers do not have the flexibility to travel for hours to attend trainings. We selected these first sites to address some of these ‘training deserts,’ and there was significant local buy-in for the need for these sites.”
The General Assembly also provided for $10 million in personal protective equipment for volunteer firefighters in the state.
The state has about 870 fire departments, of which more than 600 are staffed by volunteers. To apply for a PPE through this program, sign up on the state’s website.
Holcomb also broke ground on an expansion of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy training facility in Plainfield. ILEA provides basic training to more than 600 Indiana law enforcement officers annually. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2025.
Caption: Gov. Eric Holcomb broke ground on an expansion of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy training facility in Plainfield on Aug. 22. (Provided by Gov. Eric Holcomb)