In 2006, the Dubuque County Firefighters Association built a Regional Emergency Responder Training Facility. This facility is comprised of two buildings, a training plaza and outdoor training props on an 11-acre site just west of the City of Dubuque. The $3.2 million facility is a public-private partnership that was funded by city, county and state tax money and grants and donations from local organizations. The Dubuque Racing Association was the largest contributor to the facility with their $750,000 dollar donation. The four-story training tower was dedicated on August 31, 2006, and the first class was held in the Classroom/Evolution lab in December of 2006. The facility continues to thrive and grow. The Dubuque County Firefighters Association plans to construct a trench rescue prop, enhancing the search rooms in the training tower, implementing a garage door prop and acquisition of portable LP gas props. The facility has trained hundreds of firefighters since its inception. They continue to sponsor classes for emergency medical services, basic and advanced firefighting, emergency management, national incident management system, and public awareness classes. In January of 2009, the Dubuque County Firefighters has been asked by Randy Novak, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau, to give a presentation on the creation of the training facility thru the public, private partnerships created. The hands–on training facility has also held several business safety programs and is in the process of planning a tri-state safety fair for August 22, 2009.
The Dubuque Racing Association has donated $2,064,200 to the members of the Dubuque County Firefighters Association since 1996 including $750,000 to the Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility (DCERTF) from the 2005 DRA Future Fund. Because of the DRA, the Dubuque County Firefighters Association has been able to create a state of the art training facility that has become a model for others to emulate. Thru the interoperable training that Emergency Responders, Fire, Emergency Medical Service and Law Enforcement, have received, the residents of the tri-states benefit from the improved expertise of the professionals serving them.