Camp Dodge Is New Home To Iowa’s Fire Service Training Bureau
August 12, 2020
JOHNSTON, Iowa – Since 1925, the Fire Service Training Bureau has educated thousands of firefighters across Iowa. Today, the Bureau’s rich history starts a new chapter of service with its official launch of operations at Camp Dodge, home of the Iowa National Guard, located in Johnston. The training team of the State Fire Marshal’s Division, the Fire Service Training Bureau, is the state leader in providing education, training and certification for Iowa’s fire and emergency services.
This morning, a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to dedicate the building and celebrate the partnership between the Iowa National Guard and the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and to commemorate the Fire Service Training Bureau’s relocation from Ames, Iowa.
“From small towns to our urban centers, firefighters are on the front lines of keeping Iowans safe,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “This facility will play a central role in training our firefighters of the future. It also represents some amazing coordination and collaboration within state government and I’d like to recognize the Department of Public Safety and Iowa National Guard for this new level of partnership.”
Following an assessment of current and future needs, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed and fully executed on May 5, 2020, by the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Iowa National Guard to relocate the Fire Service Training Bureau to Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, beginning July 1, 2020.
“The Iowa National Guard is proud to welcome the Fire Service Training Bureau to our Camp Dodge family,” said Major General Benjamin Corell. "Both of our organizations value realistic, professional training opportunities. Camp Dodge is a great choice for this important training venue creating value for the citizens of Iowa now and into the future.”
The Fire Service Training Bureau now occupies the 9,239 square-foot Building 59, a facility that previously served as the Iowa National Guard’s fire station. The space, design, and layout of this facility is ideal for the Bureau’s current and future training needs. The Iowa National Guard has also provided a dedicated space to be utilized as training grounds by the Bureau for field training of firefighters, located west of the Camp Dodge firing ranges, which is suitable for live- fire training, storage of mobile training props, and additional space to expand operations.
The training grounds also currently have multiple single and two-story shipping containers structured and aligned to simulate a small city. This “container city” is an important part of the new training grounds, and will be used for various training evolutions.
“The Fire Service Training Bureau has been dedicated to equipping fire service professionals for over 95 years. Our move to this new facility is the next evolution of our commitment to providing world-class fire training to those who risk their lives protecting ours. It is a facility truly fitting of the professionalism and selflessness we see every day from our fire departments across this great state.”
THE NEXT EVOLUTION
Training and certifying Iowa firefighters started from humble beginnings in 1923, when a group of firefighters came to what was formerly known as Iowa State College (Iowa State University) and asked for educational assistance to improve their firefighting and fire prevention skills. In 1925, the college’s response was the “First Annual Iowa State Fire School.” That event marked the beginning of state-level fire service education and training in the United States.
Today, the Fire Service Training Bureau’s core functions include promoting safety in all aspects of fire and emergency service training and response, and to coordinate training ranging from basic skills to more advanced specialized topics. On average, the Fire Service Training Bureau educates and trains approximately 12,000 students annually, and supports local training efforts with deployment of over 10 various training props/adjuncts. The Bureau is also responsible for hosting and coordinating the Annual State Fire School, which annually trains approximately 700 Iowa firefighters.
The Bureau also is accredited to provide national certification in various firefighting specialties, to include Firefighter I and II, Fire Officer I and II, Fire Inspector, and Fire Investigator among other certifications. The Bureau also acts as a statewide point of contact and coordination for federal fire programs.
ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.