The Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center is owned and operated by the Helena Regional Airport Authority. The RMESTC, which was dedicated in 1996, provides the most realistic first responder training available in the world today.
The Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) program was developed to provide specialized training and certification for airport personnel in Class “A”, “B” and “C” airports – 68% of all certified airports in the US fall into one of these categories. The state-of-the-art trainers which the RMESTC was built around — a 737 spill fire trainer centered in an 8,800 square foot fire pit as well as the 737 Special Aircraft Fire Trainer (SAFT) — are still widely utilized training devices.
In recent years the RMESTC has continued to grow, adding cutting edge equipment to further the scope of its training capabilities. The state-of-the-art equipment now includes four modern mobile trainers — a Blackhawk Helicopter, Car Fire Simulator, HazMat (Hazardous Materials) Trainer, and a Structural Training Mock-up provide differing emergency scenarios and environments for RMESTC students. From flowing fuel fires with 50-foot high flames to engine, wheel, and cockpit fires, these trainers can do it all.
The RMESTC worked with FedEx and Delta to secure two retired aircraft to supplement the original training curriculum. A full scale Boeing 727 and a CRJ-200 aircraft were donated by those two companies with real-world application in mind. These trainers provide a number of scenarios which Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighters may expect to encounter.
Also located at the RMESTC campus is a 1.2-mile long driving track. The oval track includes a 3,000 foot straightaway as well as a six-acre skid pad. Professional law enforcement driver training and defensive driving courses are available; the defensive driving instructors are certified through the National Safety Council.
The RMESTC continues to expand and position itself at the forefront of Emergency Training while providing a safe, quality, and effective curriculum for emergency responders, both professional and volunteer. For more information, go to the RMESTC website, or contact Pete Hartman, Training & Facilities Coordinator.