Students, fire crews and maritime workers will benefit

Southwestern officially opened its new Training Tower on its Coos Bay campus on Thursday, May 23!

The tower will serve as a fire and rescue operations training hub for Southwestern’s students pursuing careers in structural firefighting and emergency response. That’s not all. The college anticipates this $1 million investment also will enhance annual disaster response training events that bring together lifesavers from fire departments, the U.S. Coast Guard, medical facilities and ambulance firms.

Now regional municipal and volunteer fire departments from western Douglas, Coos and Curry counties will have ongoing opportunities to train at our college close to home without leaving the region. Our partner school Columbia Pacific Maritime also will have the ability to provide professional mariners with maritime firefighting certification classes.

The modular 36-foot-tall, four-story steel structure meets International Building Code/National Fire Protection Association standards. It provides students, volunteers and professionals space to practice:

  • Interior search and rescue,
  • Live fire drills to learn fire behavior and suppression,
  • Safe ventilation operations,
  • Aerial firefighting,
  • Rappelling and ladder training,
  • Day and night fire drills, response and rescue,
  • Maritime/vessel fire response and rescue.

“It took us three years of planning with local fire departments to complete this project that will ultimately help students achieve even greater success,” said College President Patty Scott. “We could not have done it without dedicated partners at the cities of Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston and Reedsport, the airport, and rural fire departments in Coos County. Thank you!”


Photo of fire science students: Henry Hood, Kimber Privetts, Craig Edera, Kade Spini, Karsten Jensen


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