NTC’s Public Safety Center of Excellence (PSCOE) is the region’s premier training facility for local, state and federal training. The Public Safety Center of Excellence offers 24/7, all hazards, all weather advanced training in a technically integrated and realistic environment.

The 36-acre site is located 20 minutes north of the NTC Wausau campus on the edge of the City of Merrill, an area rich with a natural environment suitable for multiple uses including water rescue and rural wilderness training.

Types of Training Offered

We are proud to provide professional training and continuing education for America’s heroes — public safety professionals representing law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS).

All courses and programs offered through the School of Public Safety are certified to state and/or national standards.

Public Safety Center of Excellence

Explore the Facilities

From classroom spaces outfitted with the latest technology to real-life training apparatus, including a Tactical Safety Range and Emergency Village, the Public Safety Center of Excellence offers a wide array of hands-on training facilities that prepare public safety professionals for the worst in the best simulated environment for learning.

Learn more about our state-of-the-art facilities by exploring the individual training locations below.

Aerial photo of the Public Safety Center of Excellence
A field near a forested area, with two large boulders in the foreground.

Wilderness Training Area for Search & Rescue and SWAT

Five acres of wooded and marshland to aid responders in search and rescue, SWAT operations, and other rural responses.
A deer stand mounted in a tree in the woods at the Public Safety Center of Excellence

Deer Stand Approach & Rescue Training Site

Two different model tree stands to train emergency personnel in responding to medical emergencies and law enforcement approaches to hunters found in tree stands.
An oil tanker railcar sits in a gravel area.

Railroad Crossing and Railcar Training Area

Railroad crossing with railcars to enhance a response to a railcar derailment, hazmat spill and much more.

Trench Rescue Training

The trench rescue prop simulates conditions that may exist when construction of water and sewer lines is taking place. Students are given the opportunity to develop trench rescue shoring skills in a controlled environment.
A bunch of concrete pipes and blocks piled up in a dirt area at the Public Safety Center of Excellence

Collapsed Venues for Search & Rescue and K9 Training

A real world building collapse prop to train emergency responders in search and rescue, recovery, and incident investigations.
A paved roadway with one yellow stripe down the center.

Two-Lane Roadway With DOT Signage, Centerline and Fog Line

Roadway used for emergency responses and traffic incident management training.
Campsite approach training site at the Public Safety Center of Excellence

Campsite Approach Training With Camper and Clandestine Lab

Realistic campsite training prop to teach law enforcement approach to camp site criminal incidents, firefighters response to campfire situations, and EMS response to medical and traumatic injuries encountered at a campsite.
Air Medical Landing Zone at the Public Safety Center of Excellence with an ambulance parked on the left and a helicopter parked on the right.

Air Medical Landing Zone Training Site and Roundabout

Area used for air medical landing zone preparation and patient loading evolutions.
A water rescue area with an ambulance parked in the foreground and a helicopter flying overhead.

Water Rescue and Recovery Training Site With Dry Hydrant Location for Rural Fire Water Operations

Water reservoir used for water rescue and water recovery scenarios to better train the responder in water emergencies. Rural fire pumping operations with obtaining water supply from a “dry hydrant” location.
A building set up for search and rescue training, with several rooms made of plywood and a catwalk above.

Search and Rescue Building With Instructor Catwalk

Five room search and rescue open building used for firefighter search and rescue, EMS patient removal, and law enforcement tactical operations. Catwalk above allows instructor views of all operations occurring.
A mock restaurant named called “Mike's Diner” with 4 windows and one door.

Restaurant Response Training

Replicated restaurant used for emergency response to commercial eatery emergencies and a briefing room co-located for planning and command briefings.

Mobile Home Response Site

Trailer/mobile family dwelling used for firefighter search and rescue, EMS patient care and extrication, and law enforcement room clearing and tactical evolutions.

Fire Splash Tower

Fire splash tower used for firefighter ladder evolutions and tactical rope use during tactical courses.
Several EMS workers training in a car with downed power lines scenario.

Vehicle Extrication Pad and Downed Power Lines Simulator

Location to perform vehicle extrication training and downed power line response.
Several LP burn simulators set up for fire training

LP Burn Simulators for Fire Training

Five different gas props to aid firefighter classes in fire response training. Including a vehicle fire, dumpster fire, gas grill fire, LP tank fire, and fire extinguisher training.
A tall burn tower with several open and enclosed areas stands with open pavement around it.

4-Story Certified Burn Tower With Rope Rappelling Capabilities

Certified four story burn tower capable of live fire training for firefighter training, patient extrication for EMS, building clearing for law enforcement, and rope repelling/rescue for all hazards.
A single family home set up in a field.

Single Family Home With Basement

Four bedroom single family dwelling used for firefighter search and rescue, EMS patient care and extrication, and law enforcement room clearing and tactical evolutions.
Village of mock storefronts for urban simulation training.

Four “Main St.” Business District Buildings (Emergency Village) for Urban Simulation Trainings

Urban street training businesses to including replicated props and furniture to simulate real-life scenarios.
Indoor shooting simulator using a projector and large screen mounted to one wall in a classroom.

Indoor Shooting Simulator

State of the art computerized indoor shooting simulator used for law enforcement response to firearm high stress situations.
All hazards driving simulator in a classroom at the Public Safety Center of Excellence

All-Hazards Driving Simulator

State of the art indoor driving simulators that includes driving simulations in a squad car, fire engine, ambulance, and commercial truck.
EVOC Skidpad with cones set up and lines painted on the pavement.

EVOC Skid Pad and Defensive Driving Area

Three acre skid pad used for EVOC courses in defensive driving operations.

State-Of-The-Art Control Tower and Technology Center With Briefing Room and Classroom

State of the art incident control tower and tactical operations facility, including camera, sound, and lighting controls throughout the facility. Briefing room for instruction including a SMART board to playback scenarios and evolutions.
Leak detection field with a deck in the foreground

Natural Gas Leak Detection Field

The leak detection field is used to train public service utility employees in the detection of gas leaks.
A view of a DOT regulated traffic standards area, including traffic lights at an intersection.

DOT Regulated Traffic Standards

DOT regulated traffic control lights with instructor controls of the light rotations.

Tactical Safety Range

Eleven lane shooting range, that accommodates both rifle and handgun. In addition the facility has a classroom, and weapon cleaning room.
A view of the lobby and classrooms inside the main classroom building at the Public Safety Center of Excellence

Classroom Location With Three Classrooms

Main classroom facility includes three state of the art classrooms (one with video broadcasting capability), a student break room, and a three stall apparatus bay that houses emergency response vehicles.

Reserve Training Facilities

Reserve classroom space for large or small groups, or set up hands-on training using tools that include an emergency village, splash tower, burn tower and more. Customized, cost-effective training in emergency management and public safety is available.

Contact the School of Public Safety

Your request is important to us. If you’d like more information on the Public Safety Center of Excellence, available courses and certification opportunities or customized public safety training available, or if you have other questions, please call us or complete the following form and someone from the School of Public Safety will follow up with you.

Phone: 715.803.7205
Address: 1603 Champagne St., Merrill, WI 54452

Public Safety Center of Excellence