Nicolet College opens new public safety training facility

For the Tomahawk Leader

RHINELANDER – A new facility that will be used to train future and current law enforcement officers, emergency medical services providers, firefighters and emergency responders is now open on the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander.

A Wednesday, Oct. 18 release from Nicolet said the college broke ground on the $1.5 million, 11,600-square-foot Fieldside Center in the fall of 2021. The building opened its doors to students this fall and houses various programs, including criminal justice, firefighter training, emergency medical services and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety.

“There’s a shortage of volunteers, emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, firefighters and law enforcement officers, not only in the Nicolet College District, but throughout the state and country,” said Nicolet College Associate Dean of Public Safety Jason Goeldner. “We are hoping to attract new students, retain our current students and be able to serve our agencies with high-quality students that graduate from Nicolet College.”

According to Vilas County Chief Deputy Patrick Schmidt, the state-of-the-art training facility will have an immediate impact in the Northwoods, both fiscally and educationally.

“Typically, when we have to send officers to specialized training, it’s down to Wausau, Madison, Green Bay (or) Milwaukee, and to be able to send out people to our backyard is tremendous,” Schmidt stated. “It’s not only the convenience, but the level of instruction that they get here at Nicolet College is top-notch.”

Schmidt added that as more people move to the Northwoods, the training that Nicolet provides will “continue to make the area a safe place to live, work and raise a family.”

“Law enforcement is one small piece of creating that quality of life that people expect,” he said. “Nicolet College gives us that ability to train our personnel so they can provide that for our community.”

Photo courtesy of Nicolet College.

The release said the Fieldside Center houses four classrooms, an apparatus bay, a training simulator, a fire truck, an ambulance, patrol vehicles and safety gear, all to provide hands-on learning opportunities for Nicolet College students.

“This will provide excellent training and technology opportunities all in one location,” Fogerty stated. “That means our local agencies can have their personnel trained by instructors and other professionals who live and work here in the Northwoods, which allows us to focus on the unique aspects of serving our rural area.”

To learn more about Nicolet College’s public safety programs or to enroll, visit or call 715-365-4493.

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