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New training facility coming to Clinton first responders

New training facility coming to Clinton for first responders.

This is a press release

Through the generosity of several local businesses and the CJ Stewart Foundation’s Camp Down Range on Clinton-Tinnin Road, Clinton’s first responders will soon have their own public safety training facility and firing range.

Police Chief Ford Hayman noted, “It is with great pleasure to announce the partnership between the City of Clinton and CJ Stewart’s, Camp Down Range. This partnership was developed to provide a public safety training facility for police, fire, while further enhancing the mission of Camp Down Range.

Perfectly situated on the northern outskirts of Clinton at Kickapoo Road, the new training facility is perfectly suited for enhanced training opportunities for Clinton’s First Responders due to it’s location and Camp Down Range’s mission.

According to Chief Hayman, “Camp Down Range seemed to be the perfect venue for a training facility for the police and fire departments. Down Range was created with adversity training in mind and corresponds perfectly for a public safety training facility.”

The idea for a shared training facility is the brain child of Chief Hayman, Chief Jeff Blackledge and Mayor Philip R. Fisher. The concept was pitched several months ago to CJ Stewart. From the first meeting, CJ was “all in” and the project was launched,” Hayman stated.

“This training facility fits perfectly into the city’s plans to have the most well trained and responsive Police and Fire Departments around. I am grateful to the generosity of these businesses for their support of that vision, to C.J. Stewart for sharing the vision and to the Police and Fire Chiefs for working to make this center a reality,” stated Mayor Phil Fisher.

Camp Down Range’s Public Safety Training Facility will consist of a 10-12 lane firing range, a Conex city training site, and a 50 foot repel tower. This multi-use training facility, upon completion, will be a game-changer for the City of Clinton’s police and fire departments. Camp Down Range will see long term benefits by incorporating these resources into their challenging courses and camps.

Fire Chief Jeff Blackledge sees the training facility as a benefit to not only first responders, but to the community as a whole through the education programs of the Fire Department. In recent weeks, CFD has welcomed almost 300 children per week to the various stations for fire safety training.

Chief Blackledge explained his plans for the facility, “along with the Conex City, the fire department hopes to be able to teach children how to exit safely from a smoky atmosphere. The Conex city will be set up like a house, School classroom and possibly storefronts. This will make the training more lifelike.”

Additionally, the training tower will have many opportunities to train such as; repelling,  confined space rescue and high angle rescue just to name a few.

“This is a great opportunity for the police and fire departments to train together and learn from each other and help each other out in times of need,” Blackledge added.

The project has been made possible through funding from donors. The donations take different forms, monetary and in-kind donations of services/labor. We want to take this opportunity to thank Copeland and Johns Construction, Fordice Construction, and Birdsong Construction. These partners have provided the resources to begin construction and the first leg of the project (firing range) is nearing completion. Residents interested in supporting the new training facility may contact Chief Blackledge or Chief Hayman to learn about support opportunities.


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