Appleton International Airport received a $10.4 million federal grant Thursday to establish a regional Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) training center. The airport will partner with Fox Valley Technical College on the new center, which will expand access to airport fire and rescue training services throughout the Great Lakes.
The ARFF training center will be built near FVTC’s Public Safety Training Center. The airport and FVTC will partner with industry-leading suppliers of fire safety vehicles, such as Fox Valley-based Oshkosh Corp. and Pierce Manufacturing, on the project.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., helped secure the funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the project.
“Recent closures of aircraft rescue and firefighting training facilities have created a gap in training services throughout the Great Lakes region,” Baldwin said in a release. “I worked to secure this federal funding to help close this gap by expanding training resources for airport firefighters in Wisconsin and to support the continued growth of our local economy.”
Airport Director Abe Weber said the funding will help build a state-of-the-art training center so airport firefighters can complete their FAA-required training.
“Our strong partnership with Fox Valley Technical College enables Appleton International Airport to build this facility at a fraction of the cost and make training services more accessible to airport first responders,” he said in a news release.
Dr. Chris Matheny, FVTC’s vice president and chief academic officer, said the center will provide opportunities for emergency personnel from around the Midwest to improve their skills at a lower cost and closer to home. “This funding will help address a critical training need for airport emergency response personnel,” he said in a statement.