image of new public safety building

Nicolet Breaks Ground on New Building to House College’s Public Safety Department


Nicolet College broke ground this summer on a new Public Safety building that will both expand and improve training opportunities for individuals dedicated to providing protective and emergency services. 

“It’s important for the college to offer the latest in public safety training and this new building and associated projects will allow us to do exactly that,” said Jason Goeldner, associate dean of Public Safety at Nicolet. 

“In the end, it’s the residents of the Northwoods who will benefit the most from the elevated level of training we will be able to provide. Whether this is law enforcement or EMTs responding to an emergency or firefighters heading out to extinguish a fire, they will all have a higher level of training that will benefit everyone.” 

The new 9,065 square-foot building, located next to the Fieldside Center on the Rhinelander campus, will serve as headquarters for the numerous types of training that fall under the Public Safety umbrella at Nicolet. 

These include Law Enforcement, Firefighter Training, Emergency Medical Services, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety, Traffic Safety, Motorcycle Certification, and Hazardous Materials Handling. 

Due to the pandemic, construction materials haven’t been as readily available as usual and are now expected to start arriving in February of 2022, when construction will commence. 

Site clearing and preparation have already taken place to service the $1.5 million building. 

“We’re beyond excited to get this building constructed and start bringing in students, but for now we’ll just have to be as patient as possible as we work through what is hopefully the last stages of this pandemic and deliver training at existing locations on campus,” Goeldner said. 

Along with providing a higher level of training, Goeldner also said local emergency response agencies such as fire, police and sheriff’s departments, and emergency medical facilities in the Northwoods will reap a financial benefit by receiving training closer to home. 

“Sending staff to training is expensive and sometimes even cost-prohibitive for small departments operating on tight budgets,” he said. “By offering this specialized training in the Northwoods, they’ll be able to save on all of the travel expenses, the meals, the lodging, and mileage expenses, by having this training just down the road.” 

More details about the training opportunities that are offered through Nicolet’s Public Safety Department include:  

Firefighter Training 

Nicolet offers a dozen different firefighter classes suited for everyone from those looking to begin service with a local volunteer fire department to individuals desiring a paid career as a firefighter. Instruction includes techniques to extinguish a variety of different fires based on fuel type, tanker truck operation and using aerial ladders, fire inspection, and incident command. Note that these classes are rotated annually and not all are available every year. 

Emergency Medical Services 

Being the first on the scene of a medical emergency and being able to respond effectively takes special skills. Nicolet offers a broad range of Emergency Medical Services training that ranges from entry-level Emergency Medical Technician to Paramedic. Classes vary by semester. 

Law Enforcement 

Along with offering a two-year associates degree in Law Enforcement studies associate’s degree, the 720-hour Law Enforcement Recruit Academy, and the Jail Officer Recruit Academy to start a career in law enforcement, the college also offers numerous professional development opportunities for those already in the field. These include Search Warrant Writing, Open Records Management for Law Enforcement, Conducting Effective Internal Investigations, and Undercover Academy, along with many others. 

Motorcycle Riding 

Riding a motorcycle come with its own inherent hazards. Nicolet offers two courses for bikers to stay safe on the road. The Basic Rider Course is for novices new to riding a motorcycle with the Basic Rider 2 designed for those who have some riding experience and are comfortable on a motorcycle. Successful completion of this latter course will result in a Skills Test Waiver for the Wisconsin Motorcycle License, if needed. 

OSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety 

Many professions come with safety hazards in the workplace. Nicolet offers a robust menu of rotating classes that are designed to keep workers safe and businesses and industries in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. 

Traffic Safety 

Most people drive a vehicle every day without giving much thought to the dangers that exist on the road. The assortment of Nicolet Traffic Safety classes brings safety to the forefront and offer instruction on how drivers can stay protected on the road. Other classes offer traffic offenders the opportunity to get back in the good graces of local and state legal systems.