The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


When one first walks into the Owens Community College Center for Emergency Preparedness Training and Operations Center, it looks like any other pole barn.

But inside are virtual reality training scenarios that can make video games look tame.

The 28,790 square-foot center at the corner of Walbridge and Tracy roads can simulate fire with computerized flames, be heated to simulate hot weather and minutes later be cooled to simulate a cold environment. The room can be filled with non-toxic smoke, cleared seconds later, and turn night into day, day into night.

Owens formally opened the doors to the new $3.2 million Training and Operations Center two weeks ago, Owens representatives joined about 300 community leaders, first responders and elected officials in recently celebrating the new state-of-the-art facility’s unveiling with an official ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.

The center provides customized and sustainable training programs designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the 21st Century.


The Owens College Emergency Preparedness Training and Operations Center virtual training system features a one-of-a-kind video projection scenario program which is displayed onto separate glass walls located within four separate pods.

First responders will have the opportunity to conduct a variety of structure burn scenarios within each 221 square-foot pod to include residential, commercial, processing and electrical fires, using actual water in a controlled virtual fire and smoke-filled environment.

The system is designed to replicate a city scene with various buildings ranging from a single- to four-story complex. Actual virtual training scenarios include a bedroom fire, storage facility fire, washer/dryer fire and a living room fire, among many others.

In addition to virtual fire training opportunities, the Center for Emergency Preparedness is in the midst of developing several other scenarios to include a virtual school house active shooter training exercise.


Employers want to hire people with real-world skills. They aim to find the perfect match between a candidate and a job. Doing so saves them precious time and money.

As a parent, you can help your teenager prove his or her readiness for the world of work. Verifiable skills are critical whether your student begins working during high school, immediately after graduation, or goes on to college.

Teens looking for a job can take one or more of the accurate and informative WorkKeys® assessments to show their work readiness skills.

WorkKeys assessments ( are available throughout the nation. They’re a great first step to link your student’s skills with specific jobs. The results help drill down to an occupation that truly matches your teen’s skills. In fact, more than 16,000 job titles, the world’s largest such database, have been profiled through WorkKeys.


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