New training facility opens

SOUTH COATESVILLE County officials and first responders marked the official opening Friday of a new training space at the county's Public Safety Training Campus.

The newly constructed tactical village was designed to give the county's more than 5,000 first responders a space to train together in a realistic setting without leaving Chester County. The four-acre tactical village is the first of its kind in the five-county region.

Friday's ceremony included a dedication of the 9/11 memorial at the heart of the village. It features stone remnants from the attack on the Pentagon building.

The county commissioners placed three wreaths at the memorial in memory of the first responders who died on Sept. 11, 2001, Chester County first responders who have died in the line of duty, and Ed Atkins, the former county director of emergency services, who died last year. The grand opening also featured demonstrations by first responders. They simulated removing a trapped victim from a vehicle, rescuing a hostage, and extinguishing a car fire.

- Michaelle Bond