Emergency Services Training Centre

The Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Centre (WRESTRC) is fenced and gated for authorized users only.

Location and hours of operation

The complex is located at 1001 Erbs Rd., Waterloo.

Parking is available for up to 56 vehicles at the administration building.

Authorized user groups can access the complex 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The gate is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the main entrance is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Book WRESTRC for your emergency services training needs.

Amenities and structures

Specialized structures and open-area sites replicate scenarios that first-responders face in their work, including:

  • Burn room training in the multi-storey training structure
  • Vehicle-manoeuvring training on the test track
  • Police tactical response training
  • Fire and first response in various re-created settings
  • Police canine-unit training, classroom training in the administration building

Fire, paramedic and police services from area municipalities use the training ground for response training in realistic, controlled conditions.

Reserve the following through our booking calendar:

Administration building
This building has three functional areas:
  • Employee fitness centre
  • Emergency services area
  • Administration/classrooms

Classrooms 1 and 2

Capacity: 80 to 100 people


  • Video projector (can work separately or concurrently across Classroom 1 and 2)
  • White board
  • Built-in PA system for use with the double room
 Small meeting room
Capacity: 12 people


  • Smart board with built in video projector
  • White board
Lunch room
  • Small kitchenette
  • No cooking facilities


Emergency services area

Double garage bay includes:
  • Lockable gear storage room
  • Workshop and SCBA air supply equipment
  • Access to locker rooms and showers after training are available
Training ground
Driver training track includes approximately 1.2 km of paved road surface with a 40 m by 200 m "skid pad" area designed for vehicle manoeuvring and control exercises.

Fire training building includes: 3000 square feet, multi-level concrete building.

The high-rise section is seven storeys. The low-rise section varies in height from one to five storeys and has three burn rooms. Fire crews simulate "class A" structure fires in the low-rise area and smoke exercises with minimal heat in the high-rise area.

Prop sites
Prop sites are available for specific and specialized training such as:
  • Hydro emergencies
  • Confined-space emergencies
  • Vehicle fires
  • Trench rescue
  • Flash-over simulation

These sites are located on the interior road system within the driver training track loop and adjacent to the fire training building.

Prop sites:
  • Apparatus bay
  • Burn building
  • Bus prop
  • Combat challenge tower
  • Ditch prop (confined space)
  • Drafting prop
  • Dumpster/propane tank/barbecue/vehicle props
  • Electrical prop
  • Field/lunch meeting room
  • Fire extinguisher prop
  • Firefighter survival prop
  • Flashover unit prop
  • Forcible entry prop
  • Ground cover fire prop
  • Multi-use training prop
  • Positive pressure attack training structure
  • Roof ventilation prop
  • Smoke tower
  • Tanker prop
  • Trench prop
  • Water ice rescue prop
University of Waterloo live fire research facility
University of Waterloo manages and maintains the UW Live Fire Research facility. Its use advances the fire science and firefighting industry.

Faculty and students in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Health Science departments study the science of fire - how it starts, how it behaves, and how it is controlled - in this building.

Contact: Prof. Beth Weckman

Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT)
Office trailer and storage building are located inside the driver training track at the bottom of the in-field cul-de-sac, east side.

University of Waterloo maintains the CPATT program.

Contact: Prof. Susan Tighe

Vehicular Mobile Radio Network Lab
Office trailer and overhead gantry are located inside the driver training track at the bottom of the in-field cul-de-sac, south side. The gantry is located on the driver training track east side, north east of the driver skid pad.

University of Waterloo maintains the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS).

Contact: Gholamreza (Reza) Rafi

University booking and use of Driver Training Track
For all vehicle research projects and automotive student teams, contact the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR)

Contact: Ross McKenzie

Policy and guidelines

WRESTRC's Policy and Guideline Manual includes information on site processes and physical areas of the facility.

Due to the wide variety of user groups and the irregular usage patterns anticipated, it is critical that all departments, training divisions and trainers have a thorough understanding of this manual.



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