ST. PAUL, Minn. — Law enforcement officers and first-responders around the state will now have the opportunity to train for disasters and emergencies in a realistic, safe environment at the recently completed Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) at Camp Ripley in Little Falls. The EVOC officially opens today, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
“This resource will provide essential hands-on training that can be applied in real-life situations,” said Mark Dunaski, Minnesota Department of Public Safety assistant commissioner. “The course is truly a statewide asset and will be available for agencies and organizations from around Minnesota. It’s another way we are training, preparing and improving the ways we work to keep Minnesotans safe.”
The EVOC is a 4.3-mile training track that allows users to safely perform tactical driving maneuvers in a controlled environment. The course offers users the experience of practicing these maneuvers on multiple types of surfaces and roadways while dealing with various road conditions.
The facility will provide comprehensive integrated response training and exercising for emergency responders. Various scenarios that would require a multi-agency response can be simulated including serious vehicle crashes, hazardous material spills, and pursuits.
The EVOC features two separate gravel roadways and a four-lane divided highway that is three-fourths of a mile long.
Although the majority of the track is complete, crews will continue with minor work through next spring, which includes finishing up lighting details.
The EVOC is the product of a collaborative effort between the state patrol and several other agencies and organizations, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, North Memorial, Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) and Minnesota National Guard. The State Patrol will operate the course.
The Minnesota State Patrol’s Training and Development section is developing a business plan for EVOC users. Agencies interested in using the track or learning more about it can contact Lt. Adam Fulton, State Patrol, at 320-616-2521 or Adam.Fulton@state.mn.us.
EVOC facts and figures
• 4.3 miles of total roadway surface—2.25 miles once around the track
• 1.5 miles of four-lane divided highway
• A 300’ by 700’ skill pad area with water capabilities for testing
• One-half mile of gravel roadway
• Multiple surfaces including asphalt and concrete
• Freeway-type lighting system
• 0.6 miles of winding roadway through a woodland area
Photos of the EVOC are available at https://mndeptpublicsafety.sharefile.com/d/sfca2d6cbf3445bbb.
About the Minnesota State Patrol
More than 500 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota’s roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action, and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions, and assist other law enforcement agencies.
In 1929, the Minnesota Legislature created the Highway Patrol after lawmakers recognized the need for a traffic enforcement agency in response to the boom of automobiles. The first patrol force comprised 35 men. In 1970, the Highway Patrol became a division of the Department of Public Safety, and four years later its official name was changed to the Minnesota State Patrol.
• 438,643 traffic stops
• 6,028 DWI arrests
• 188 fatal crash responses
• 228,061 citations
Recent State Patrol highlights
• During the historically deadly Thanksgiving travel period (Wed.-Sun.), the state patrol made more than 100 DWI arrests and reported 500 crashes.
• State Patrol will partner with around 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies to increase DWI patrols in December.
• Find preliminary crash reports online at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp/Pages/default.aspx.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.