Gov. Holcomb, IDHS announce 2nd round of firefighter training locations


    The Hub-and-Spoke training initiative has funded nine locations from the $17.7 million
    allocated by Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda

    Wabash, Ind. – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today joined the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to announce the continued expansion of state-sponsored firefighter training locations designed to eliminate “training deserts” across Indiana.

    During a dedication ceremony of a newly built training site in Wabash, Gov. Holcomb also announced the next five locations set to receive training towers equipped with live-burn capabilities. Those next sites include Washington Township (Daviess County), Chrisney (Spencer County), Hartford City (Blackford County), Rushville (Rush County) and Paoli (Orange County).

     “Every Hoosier community relies on and deserves a strong public safety presence,” Gov. Holcomb said. “For years, gaps have challenged and stretched Indiana’s fire service across the state.  Now, with this new program, we have the opportunity to properly support all those firefighters who sacrifice so much for each and every one of us everyday.”

    Wabash is one of four Phase I locations announced in 2023 as the result of $17.7 million in state funding approved by the Indiana General Assembly. The other Phase I locations included Corydon, Linton and Rensselaer, all of which will be fully operational this summer. $10 million of those funds were earmarked for new personal protection equipment for volunteer firefighters, leaving $7.7 million for training site construction.

    In total, the Hub-and-Spoke training initiative has funded nine training locations, all managed by the central location at the Indiana Fire and Public Safety Academy in Plainfield.

    “What we’re doing has never been done in the state of Indiana,” said Indiana Fire Marshal Steve Jones. “The majority of Indiana fire departments are made up of volunteers who are unable to travel far to receive the proper training. This plan tells them we care about the quality of training available to them, and we’re committed to making it more accessible.”

    In addition to training, many volunteer departments have been receiving personal protective equipment in recent weeks, sometimes replacing gear that was handed down from another department and could be more than a decade old. The $10 million investment will fund 940 complete PPE sets for 66 departments across Indiana.

    Following the construction of the nine designated training locations, Jones and the Indiana Fire and Public Safety Academy will evaluate any remaining funding for opportunities to expand existing training sites and leverage those resources for even more training access.