NWTC opens first referendum project today: vehicle operator training course

Thursday July 21, 2016
Universal Driving Facility serves police, fire, EMS, young drivers
GREEN BAY – Representatives of dozens of area police, fire and EMS agencies joined Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and area legislators to open a Universal Driving Facility (UDF). The course will be used primarily to train public safety professionals, but it can be used for civilians as well.
“It helps police, fire and EMS respond safely through the community so they get to their destination safely,” said Public Safety Dean Liz Paape. “I don’t think people understand all the factors that come into play when our first responders respond to a call.”
Those challenges—which can be recreated at the course—include tight turns, two-lane roundabouts, cars hidden by hills, unpredictable motorists and more. Paape said having the region’s first realistic course to include modern driving patterns such as a two-lane training roundabout, will benefit officers and citizens with safe responses to calls for service.
 “It just presents so many great training opportunities throughout our District for the Emergency Responders and the community,” Paape said. “Emergency Responders are often faced with uncertain responses from citizens driving on the road. This realistic course will assist with reading driver language and providing the ability for our Emergency Responders to balance driving, road conditions and traffic conditions. For example, conducting evasive maneuvers on the actual width of the roadway, rather than a large parking lot, will increase Emergency Driver awareness, space management and collision avoidance. The goal is to train Emergency Responders to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons that use the roadway.”
The UDF will provide benefits beyond safety. Police and sheriff’s departments can use the course to meet state training requirements in pursuit intervention and other skills. Insurance agencies can potentially offer rate reductions when public safety departments can document having had the training.
Civilians can also benefit from the new facility, Paape said. The track would allow NWTC to implement a new youth driver course to help young drivers with vehicle control skills such as braking and over-steering—“skills for a young driver so parents feel safer when their kids are on the road.”
The UDF was officially opened during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony today at the training site.

Photos of the UDF training course


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