Skip to main content
Changes ahead
Some pages will look different than others as we modernize to bring you an even better website.

Feb. 12


Emma Frazier
Public + Media Relations Manager
531-MCC-2726, office

Sunderland Foundation, MCC invest in Fire Science Technology program with addition of four-story training tower
Through a grant funded by the Sunderland Foundation and Metropolitan Community College, a four-story fire science technology training tower has been added to the MCC Applied Technology Center campus (10407 State St.). The customizable, modular structure will be implemented into MCC programming in the 2024 spring quarter and is expected to serve students and regional fire departments for the next two decades.

The training tower provides a flexible, safe space for advanced fire-rescue training activities. In addition to elevating the College’s Fire Science Technology program — the only educational institution in Nebraska to offer such a program — the infrastructure investment also aids resource-constrained regional fire departments. Many fire departments in the MCC four-county service area are volunteer agencies that stand to benefit from more accessible training opportunities offered by the new training tower. 

“Every student, whether they’re in a high school academy or an adult learner in a working fire department, will benefit from the use of the tower because of its ability to create realistic situations firefighters would experience in the field, but in a safe, controlled environment,” said Jeffrey Strawn, MCC Fire Science Technology program director. 

MCC offers training and support to more than 20 regional fire departments, including the Omaha, Ralston, Fremont, Blair, Bennington and Gretna fire departments. 

 “It’s a huge benefit to the firefighting community because it allows us to support the training needs of local jurisdictions well into the future,” Strawn said.

The fire science training tower is a burn-free facility, which prevents exposure to carcinogens present during live firefighting. From one location, the tower enables the following technical training evolutions (and more) to be incorporated into the MCC Fire Science Technology academic program and the College’s advanced training workshops available to area departments: 
  • Advanced rappelling 
  • Basic search and rescue
  • Confined space rescue
  • Forcible entry
  • Hazardous materials
  • High- and low-angle rescue operations 
  • Hose management 
  • Incident command
  • Ladder drills 
  • Roof venting
  • Rope rescue
  • Technical rescue
  • Window entry
With the expansion of training capabilities, Strawn said students will complete their associate degree or certificate of achievement better prepared for employment and advancement. High school students participating in the MCC Fire Science Career Academy will also use the new tower in their training exercises. 

“With the exposure and training our students receive in the program, they will have more acclimation to what they’ll see in the real world. Whether throwing a 24- to 35-foot extension ladder or simulating the rescue of someone trapped on the second or third floor of an apartment building, that’s exposure they wouldn’t have received before that will strengthen the firefighter and first responder workforce,” Strawn said. 

The MCC Fire Science Technology program is recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy. Visit for more information about the program.

About MCC
Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest postsecondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.