According to a report from FOX5, the San Diego (CA) Sheriff’s Department (SDSD) has officially opened the new, first-of-its-kind Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) Center in Otay Mesa to aid police, firefighters, and other first responders in practicing evasive maneuvers and vehicle training in San Diego County.
The SDSD said that first responders spend more time driving than any other task, and the new 40-acre facility will provide hands-on education and pro training for current and future deputies, police, firefighters, and ambulance and other public works drivers.
The $32.4 million project began construction in October 2020 and created almost 300 jobs. The city of San Diego and Miramar College both gave $5 million each for the center.
The center features three areas for state-mandated driver training. One track will be for used to practice quick and safe responses to emergency calls, while a second area simulates city block driving and parking. A third area will be a “skills pad” for practicing quick lane changes, controlled braking, evasive maneuvering, and driving in reverse.
The EVOC can also be used for teen driving safety programs and private events, from legal races to car shows. The income from these events and programs will fund facility maintenance and upkeep.
SDSD Sergeant Michael Pepin said that, before this facility opened, the only place responders and law enforcement could practice these maneuvers was in San Bernardino.