Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany trained more than 8,000 local, state and federal public safety professionals from a variety of disciplines and agencies, including law enforcement, the fire service, and emergency management, from across New York State and beyond in 2022. These students completed cutting-edge, contemporary training throughout the year, following a 16-month pause in in-person training due to the pandemic. Operated by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Center offered trainings last year that helped prepare these professionals to address current and evolving threats, perform water rescues in a variety of conditions, and grow knowledge in all aspects of emergency response.
“Public Safety is my administration’s top priority, and the State’s world-class training facility in the Mohawk Valley works year-round to enhance response capabilities for thousands of New York’s first responders and emergency personnel,” Governor Hochul said. “We will continue to open our doors at the SPTC throughout the year in 2023 and beyond to any public safety agency – providing essential services and training that will help keep New Yorkers safe.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Part of the core mission at the Division is delivering quality training to New York’s public safety and emergency management officials. New York’s risk profile is becoming more diverse each year, which means our State’s public safety partners must be trained to respond to a huge variety of emergency scenarios. I encourage New York’s public safety professionals to take advantage of all the courses the SPTC has to offer in 2023.”
Following a tour of the newly expanded Capital Region Crime Analysis Center, one of 10 in a network supported by the State in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, Governor Hochul yesterday detailed the comprehensive plan outlined in her State of the State Address to increase funding and support for law enforcement and public safety professionals. In her State of the State address, Governor Hochul outlined two proposals to help volunteer fire departments boost recruitment and increase retention. She will propose legislation to allow communities to pay modest compensation to eligible volunteer firefighters, and also create a state fund to cover some of the costs associated with core firefighter training. The fund also will offset some of the wages that volunteers lose when they miss work because they are being trained to serve their communities.
The State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) offers state, local, and federal agencies an extensive set of training venues and formats. From classroom lectures and discussions to reality- and high-performance scenario-based exercises, the facility offers a full range of dynamic training opportunities. The SPTC offers agencies realistic training environments such as a simulated city, a Swift Water/Flood Rescue facility, collapsed building rubble pile, woodland structures and other settings. Now in its 16th year of operation, the facility annually trains thousands of New York’s public safety partners including, but not limited to, law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical services, and emergency management personnel, in a variety of areas including response to active shooter events, crisis negotiation, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations.
Since the center opened in 2006, New York State has invested over $40 million to create a world-class facility for training public safety officials. While training New York’s public safety community is the training center’s top priority, first responders from across the U.S., Canada and other countries have participated in training in Oriskany.
In addition to holding numerous courses throughout 2022, the State Preparedness Training Center hosted several, large-scale training events including:
- Canine Week: More than 50 Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) teams from across the State participated in scenario-based training and a series of challenging skills lanes.
- Raven’s Challenge: The State Preparedness Training Center hosted the ATF’s Raven’s Challenge exercise that brought over 200 local, state, federal, and international bomb technicians together for a week of scenario-based training. This is the fourth time in the last seven years the training center has hosted this prestigious event.
- Tactical Week: Statewide tactical teams, or SWAT teams, participated in a series of advanced scenarios during the week to test their capabilities. At the end of the event, training center officials named a top team based on their performance during the week.
- Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems Summit: 160 local, state, and federal UAS stakeholders from across New York State participated in this event to learn how to integrate this technology into their public safety missions, as well as to obtain flight training
- Excelsior Challenge: Nearly 150 law enforcement officials from over 50 different agencies participated in the training center’s premier event. The annual exercise brings bomb techs, explosive detection canine teams and tactical teams together scenario training based on the current threat environment.
In 2022, DHSES also brought County-level public safety officials to the SPTC for a ‘TAM Team Summit’ to inform them on how to create Threat Assessment and Management Teams, as supported by Governor Hochul’s Executive Order 18 on “Preventing and Responding to Domestic Terrorism.”
The training center also hosted nearly 50 college students for the “New York Hope” exercise for the third time. The exercise helps prepare students for potential careers in the fields of emergency management and homeland security. The four-day disaster response exercise trained students in leadership; teamwork and confidence building; disaster response and medical operations; incident command system and interoperable communications, and emergency services partner agency training.
In 2023, the State Preparedness Training Center will continue to broaden the types of training provided in Oriskany, as well as the stakeholder groups engaged in these efforts, to ensure New York State is prepared to address the evolving threat environment. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services also continues to advance the development of the training center facilities. Plans call for the construction of a new, large-scale auditorium for use as a training venue, as well as to host large training events.
In addition to major events, the training center will host a broad array of courses for public safety officials. Visit the State Preparedness Training Center’s website for more information.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, find DHSES on Facebook, on Twitter or visit dhses.ny.gov.