March 23, 2018 – Santa Fe College held a dedication ceremony for the newly expanded Institute of Public Safety Friday morning. The expansion, which cost roughly $8 million, doubles the size of the training facility, and more importantly provides state-of-the-art upgrades that put IPS in a class virtually unmatched in the nation for the training of first responders.
SF President Jackson Sasser credited the efforts of IPS Director Tom Ackerman whose expertise and vision helped create the new facility saying, “there are only four sites like (IPS), one being the FBI Academy, and Tom Ackerman brought that to us.”
In addition to dedicated classroom spaces and emergency medical facilities, the expansion includes a fully operational replica of a small town “Main Street” area which will give law enforcement, EMT and paramedic trainees a realistic scenario-based training exercise area, allowing them to hone their skills in the kinds of environments they will encounter in the working world.
Several federal and state elected officials were on hand for the Friday ceremony, including U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (FL-3), who presented Dr. Sasser with a flag that flew over the Capitol. Yoho said the improvements made to the facility “offer valuable programs that properly instruct future law enforcement officers and emergency medical service providers on the most effective and innovative safety procedures.” Yoho also said that in the times we live in, “It is imperative that our emergency personnel are skilled and fully capable of responding to hazardous situations.”
The new facility is based on models from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), where IPS Director Ackerman served as a national training manager. The expansion of IPS makes SF’s Kirkpatrick Center the premiere first responder training center in the nation.