Midwestern University Offers Training Opportunity to Local Fire Departments

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February 28, 2022 | Downers Grove, IL

Fire chief speaks to firefighters The Downers Grove fire department conducts training exercises in an unoccupied building on the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University.

Midwestern University partnered with the Downers Grove Fire Department to offer a variety of training opportunities to local fire crews and police units in an unoccupied building on the Downers Grove Campus scheduled for demolition. The Downers Grove and Lombard fire crews held training exercises in the three-story, 30,000 square-foot Haspel Hambrick Hall to practice large area searches, rescue operations, lost or separated firefighter protocols, roof ventilation on a commercial building, and other drills. The Downers Grove Police Department was also able to conduct an active shooter drill in the 61-year-old academic office building. A smoke simulator and specialized equipment were used throughout the training.

 “Midwestern University provided us with an excellent opportunity to practice for a variety of situations,” said Jim Werner, Training/Safety Battalion Chief for the Downers Grove Fire Department. “It’s very rare that we get to use a building of that size and we are grateful to the University to have the opportunity to practice techniques before they are needed. Search techniques in an office building are different than those in normal residences and Midwestern provided us with an invaluable training opportunity for our crew,” he added.

The training lasted several weeks and is part of an ongoing partnership between the University and local agencies. In previous years, the University provided training opportunities in other campus buildings including a multi-level dormitory and one-story academic classroom building before scheduled demolition as part of the University’s strategic plan for growth and development.