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Iowa Lakes Board Discusses New RERTC Facility

By Staff | Jul 17, 2008

The Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College held their monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon in Emmetsburg and learned about the recently completed Regional Emergency Response Training Center (RERTC).

Steve Dobbins, Fire, EMS and Health programmer, thanked the advisory committee for offering their insight into the needs of area emergency services personnel.

The Regional Emergency Response Training Center was built after the college received two grants from the state of Iowa, the first in 2006 and another in 2007. The state grant totaled $518,000 and went towards the actual RERTC structure. A grant from the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation, in the amount of $7,750, went towards the purchase of radios for the trainees’ use. In addition, the Iowa Lakes Community College Welding program donated burn pans to the RERTC.

A ribbon cutting, welcoming the new structure, was conducted on Apr. 5.Area firefighters and paramedics use the RERTC as a training facility. The structure simulates the risks emergency personnel (such as law enforcement, medical responders, and fire fighters) face in a fire.

Some of the features of the building include: a three-story tower for first responders to practice rappelling and life saving skills from a rooftop, a residential section with a varied pitch roof, and the ability to practice attic ventilation during a fire. The ground floor features a single story unit that houses a larger burn room. The second story features a small burn room and movable walls so emergency personnel may change the configuration of the facility and staircases to enhance fire hose skills and hone First Responders’ lifesaving skills.

The RERTC is one of only 11 centers in the state, with the Emmetsburg location the only one located in northwest Iowa. In the future, Dobbins would like to add college credit courses in emergency training and upgrade the courses offered during the annual Regional Fire School and EMS conference. The advisory group will meet again soon to help establish future priorities for the overall training site.

In other business, the Trustees passed the second and final reading of a revised board policy concerning Tobacco Free Facilities. The college buildings have been tobacco free for many years, however the new legislation expands the coverage of prohibited smoking areas. The smoking ban affects students, visitors, faculty, and staff and includes all Iowa Lakes Community College property.

A proposed contract with Sports Medicine Northwest was approved by the Trustees. This is a one-year agreement that uses the services of the agency to assist student-athletes with care, rehabilitation, and prevention of athletic injuries. With this service, the instructor of the athletic training program at Iowa Lakes will be able to devote more time preparing students in the college’s program to become future athletic trainers.

In addition, the Trustees accepted the resignation of Shan Ray, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement effective Aug. 1.

In giving her final Foundation Update, Ray noted that the Sixth Annual Iowa Lakes Foundation Scholarship Poker Ride will be held on Saturday, July 19. Proceeds from the ride benefit students with scholarships to attend Iowa Lakes Community College. The ride begins at the Algona Campus with registration from 8 to 9 a.m. The Emmetsburg Campus will be the second stop.

Ray shared that, for the first time, she had attempted pre-registration with the event. As of the Trustees meeting, 140 motorcyclists had already pre-registered.