Travis County Emergency Services District #2 wanted to explore options for updating and improving its existing training center located at 18412 Cameron Road in Travis County, Texas. The District commissioned the Interact Business Group , to prepare a comprehensive strategic business plan that will serve the agency and potential stakeholders today and well into the future. At the direction of the Department, IBG answered the following questions to meet the expressed objectives of this report:
- Who will use the training center?
- What training will be provided at the center?
- What will it cost to build or enhance the center?
- What will it cost to annually operate the center?
- What are the preliminary site plans and equipment requirements?
- What is the cost benefit of the training center?
- What funding options are available?
Travis County ESD #2 places a high level of importance on ensuring that its personnel are well-trained and prepared to protect those they serve. Per its vision statement, the Training Division “exists to enable all members of all divisions to accomplish the mission of the Pflugerville Fire Department in a competent and professional manner. The Training Division will provide appropriate and necessary training and coordination, make training experiences meaningful for learners, and provide support to all fire service instructors; so that the members can meet the Department’s mission. Members know what they do, how to do it, and why they do it.”
In addition to its role in recruit training, the Training Division also oversees all in-service training. The District currently provides all firefighters with a wide variety of didactic (classroom) and hands-on skills (field) classes, training exercises and drills. The type of training is detailed in the District’s Master Training Plan.
The existing training center has served the District well for many years, providing the kinds of facilities that have enabled TCESD #2 personnel to achieve a high level of competency. However, District leadership recognizes the need to maximize the training opportunities offered at the training center as the department continues to grow in size and expand its scope of emergency services. TCESD #2 and IBG have collectively identified some issues and concerns regarding the current training center that could constrain the Department’s desire to achieve training excellence
This study has analyzed TCESD #2’s training requirements and identified almost 11,000 annual training contact hours. In addition, the Project Team has identified approximately 23,600 future hours of training consisting primarily of regional and high school fire technology academies. Of these training hours, 28% consist of training being completed at a satisfactory level; however, with enhanced facilities this training can be improved and maximized. Further, 68% of training hours is training the department aspires to provide and will be able to do so with enhanced facilities. In total, 96% of TCESD #2’s current and future training can be taken to a higher level of excellence with an improved training center.
The foremost consideration applied while developing new or improved facilities was the training needs of TCESD #2. Guided by the information developed in the detailed internal training needs assessment, IBG provided its professional recommendations for the project’s success and gives the TCESD #2 a blueprint for growth and expansion that it can follow into the future. The following summarizes the four IBG recommendations:
- Recommendation #1: Develop A Phased Improvement Plan
- Recommendation #2: Seek And Secure Project Funding
- Recommendation #3: Design Team Selection
- Recommendation #4: Reinforce The Regional Aspect Of The Training Center