Virginia leaders make the case the case for regional training center

Virginia city leaders have asked lawmakers to provide funding for a new Regional Public Safety and Training Center.  The state would approve $15 million in bonding money with the city contributing the remaining $10 million through a range of financing options.  Designers envision a complex that would allow for specialized, cost-effective, quality training close-to-home for Fire, Police and Public Safety departments from all over northern Minnesota.  The fire station itself was built in 1907 and in recent years equipped has been modified so it can fit through the same bay doors and stalls that once housed horse-drawn steam pumpers.

"We have made numerous changes in our building to accommodate staff but are still sorely lacking in much needed amenities for the staff such as locker and storage." fire chief Alan Lewis wrote in a recent editorial for the Mesabi Daily News.  Chief Lewis also outlined police department space needs to remain compliant with Bureau of Criminal Apprehension data and storage requirements.

The areas public safety resources have undergone staffing changes in recent years.  The city current has 37 personnel working as firefighter/paramedics, single role paramedics and single role EMTs.  Like many communities, Virginia has experienced an increase and shift in the types of calls it receives with more demand for advanced life support services.

The current proposal will be considered by Minnesota lawmakers as part of the larger public works and infrastructure bill.  A complete outline of the project is available through this link.