Fresno City College held a groundbreaking for their new first responders center on Thursday, February 17th at Willow and E. North avenues in southeast Fresno. This location will become the site for new officers, firefighters, and paramedics to complete training as first responders in emergency situations.
A number of speakers arrived at the groundbreaking ceremony including Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. The following day Sheriff Mims announced she will be retiring at the end of her current term in 2023.
“What’s really important is the type of training that is gonna be provided here”, declared Mayor Dyer when speaking about the responders center. He then went on to provide his reasoning behind this statement. “I am a firm believer in stress induced, scenario based, realistic training.” Dyer believes that the more realistic the training, the more easily adaptable firefighters and police officers will be able to act in specific situations.
Sheriff Margaret Mims recounted her own days as a community college student, and stated that it was “..only because of community college and the program that I was able to start my career.” She understood that in order to receive college credits and in order to work for the Sheriff’s department, she had to undertake community college courses and is grateful for that system. She believes that in the future, the community college system will help to continue to provide opportunities for students.
Jonathan Lopez Galvan, a representative from the public information office of the city of Fresno’s fire department offered his congratulations for the groundbreaking of the site and the improvement of public safety training of future responders. He voiced, “Having a facility to train our first responders is a tremendous achievement for the state center community college district.” He then went on to state that the fire department looks forward to continuing their partnership with the new facility.
Interim President of Fresno City College Dr. Marlon Hall took to the podium to thank the elected officials for “putting the people of the Central Valley first.” He then went on to invite Congressman Jim Costa who proclaimed “First responders, are never, ever, to be taken for granted.” He mentioned the pandemic and the fact that first responders were on the front lines as “heroes and heroines” who demonstrated their “care, respect, love, and [now] willingness to invest.” Costa then went on to say that this responders’ center is another way in which the nation is “investing in America’s future.” Congressman Costa recognized Chancellor Carole Goldsmith of Fresno City College and interim President Dr. Marlon Hall with a certificate thanking them on behalf of the new responders center.
The project is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall 2023. This new center will sit on 40 acres at Willow and North Avenues in Southeast Fresno. The $46.1 million campus will house running track, driving pad and scenario village.