Corpus Christi getting first responder training complex

Local dignitaries, including Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo (center), dug into the dirt at a site on Saratoga Boulevard that has been prepared for construction of the National First Responder Training Complex. A groundbreaking was May 13. Courtesy photo

Construction began with a symbolic turning of dirt by golden shovel for the National First Responder Training Complex on Saratoga Boulevard in Corpus Christi. The $5.4 million complex will draw trainees from across the nation for police, firefighter, EMS, and maritime services.

Business partners and investors in the complex, Bryan Gulley and Reynaldo Rabagos, co-own Texas EMSA Emergency Services and Texas EMS Academy at 5262 Staples St.

“We completely outgrew our space and need to take it to the next level,” said Gulley, who is also a Port Corpus Christi commissioner. “We have a waiting list of 600 or 700 students right now.”

The facility will offer more than 20 courses and include an education building and fire training tower in its first phase, which should be complete by early 2022. An industrial plant fire training area is slated for the second phase.

The site, which is between The Cattery Cat Shelter and the intersection of County Road 35 on Saratoga Boulevard, also will be the new home of Texas EMS Academy and TEMSA Emergency Services. The new complex also will offer a job placement service. “We have so much opportunity in this area that I think it’s going to put Corpus on the map,” Rabagos said at the groundbreaking, which took place May 13.

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