County dedicates new tactical village


Chester County Commissioners (center front, Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell), as well as elected officials and representatives from the first responder community, cut the ribbon to officially open the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus Tactical Village.

SOUTH COATESVILLE — Chester County Commissioners Terence Farrell, Kathi Cozzone and Michelle Kichline were joined by more than 250 people at the recent official opening of the county’s Public Safety Training Campus Tactical Village, located in South Coatesville.

The county’s Director of emergency services Bobby Kagel, along with representatives from Chester County’s fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS) and fire police communities took part in the program, noting the importance of the Tactical Village as a center for individual and joint training opportunities. 

In his remarks, Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Terence Farrell explained why the facility was needed.

“Why do we need a Public Safety Training Campus in Chester County, and why were so many people determined, for so long, to find a home where fire, police and EMS personnel can learn together?,” he said. “The answer is because nearly 300,000 times a year, someone in the county calls 9-1-1 for help.”

The facility is designed to help train the county’s first responders, many of whom are volunteers.

“This Tactical Village, with its residential and industrial facades, its building shells and its main street ‘hazards’ will be of tremendous help to our first responders, allowing them to practice for many eventualities, Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said. “It is another investment in keeping all of our residents safe.”

With one centralized facility, first responders from around the county will have a shared experience and training background.

“The goal of the entire training campus is to provide a common ground so that fire, rescue, EMS and law enforcement can train together in unified command, as required by the National Incident Management System,” Commissioner Michelle Kichline said. “To have this ‘common ground’ within the boundaries of our county also makes economic sense.”

The four-acre $11 million Tactical Village includes search and rescue buildings, a high-rise training tower and vehicle burn and rescue area, as well as a burn building, a gasoline and oil fire suppression simulator and props to practice hazardous materials spill containment.  This second phase of the entire Public Safety Training Campus joins the Academic Building, opened in September 2012.  Phase three, the Police Firing Range, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

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