St. Landry Parish gets new traning facility for first responders

Photo Credit: KLFY

St. Landry Parish will soon be home to one of three regional training facilities in the state.

The four-story tower and a pond will be key training areas for Acadiana’s emergency responders.

The multi-agency training facility sits on seven acres of land. St. Landry Parish government is using a $1.4 million federal grant to fund the project.

Fire Chief Ray Mendenhall explained the need for a training facility came after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, “This facility will be used to train all emergency responders in St. Landry Parish. Fire, Police, EMS.”

The land has a pond that will provide water rescue training and allow firefighters to pump test trucks.

But, Mendenhall is most proud of the four-story fire tower.

“It’s going to allow us to do ladder operations, repelling and two burn rooms. One on the first floor and one on the second floor. It’s also going to allow the police departments to do hard entry tactics,” He told KLFY’s Jazmin Thibodeaux.

The police departments will also have a shooting range.

Matthew Rabalais, the fire department’s chief training officer, said this will be a major change from what they are used to, “We’ve had to rely on roads to be able to do what we needed to do and makeshift burn boxes.”

Officials have plans to expand the facility after the initial facility is built.

The tower is expected to be completed at the end of December, but the rest of the facility is not expected to be finished until spring 2016.

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