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The Interact Business Group Helps Bring a State-of-the-Art First Responder Training Center to Nanticoke, PA

LAKE FOREST, CA - After seven years the dream of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania emergency responders has finally become reality. In late March, Luzerne Community College (LCCC) broke ground on its new 15 million dollar state-of-the-art first responder training center. The vision of LCCC in cooperation with state and local officials became reality with the help of the strategic plan developed by the Interact Business Group. The plan provided the center a long-term needs assessment, facility plan, daily operations plan and funding strategy.

On hand for the groundbreaking ceremony was Dean of Public Safety Training and Special Initiatives, Karen Flannery. The Interact Business Group was able to provide Flannery and her staff with a custom strategic plan for facilities that, according to the LCCC officials, is “The most significant undertaking since our arrival here in Nanticoke [1967].”

Located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Luzerne County Community College Public Safety Training Institute will offer an estimated 4,000 first responders from ten counties the opportunity to get state-of-the-art, hands-on training. The 34-acre site will include a five-story structured tactical burn building and drill tower, and the institute’s headquarters with classrooms and storage facilities. In addition to these buildings, the Luzerne training site will include: an indoor shooting range, driving course, gas exposure training site, K-9 training area, helicopter landing pad and collapsible buildings.

The facility will replace the inadequate training methods of the past. At that time departments sent firefighters as far south as Maryland to train. According to Kingston, Pennsylvania firefighter, Jim Wills, “They (students) are going to know what the real world is like, and when we send them out for firefighting they are going to have some real experience.” Quality training will no doubt produce better-prepared first responders. According to Wills, “We’re finally going to have a place where we can train properly. We’re going to have lives and property saved.”

After years of hard work by LCCC officials and the Interact Business Group, the vision has become a reality for Dr. Karen Flannery, her staff and the Luzerne County Community College family.

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