SAN DIEGO — San Diego Sheriff’s Department will open its brand new state-of-the-art training facility for first responders in Otay Mesa on Wednesday.
The Sheriff’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Center or EVOC is the first of its kind in the country. The department says it will provide immersive, hands-on, interactive education and continued professional training for future and current deputies, police officers, firefighters, as well as ambulance and public works drivers.
Construction of the facility began in October 2020 and had a price tag of $32.4 million while creating nearly 300 jobs in the region. The City of San Diego and Miramar College both gave $5 million towards the project.
California mandates training for first responders who operate emergency vehicles. The 40-acre facility features three venues to meet required state standards. The facility has a track for training on quickly and safely responding to emergency calls. It has an area to simulate driving and parking in a city block environment as well as a skills pad for practicing quick lane changes, controlled braking, evasive maneuvering and driving in reverse
San Diego Sheriff’s say the EVOC can also be used for teen safety driving programs. They also say that in the future the facility will be used for private events such as race legal or car shows. Income generated will go back to a fund that will help repave, repaint, and repair the EVOC.
According to the sheriff department, they previously had to send all their recruits and current first responders out of the county for training which now saves taxpayers money.