The Defensive Driving Program and Driving Track
History of the RMESTC
The Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center (RMESTC) is owned and operated by the Helena Regional Airport Authority. It was originally opened in 1996 to provide Aircraft Rescue Fire Training to firefighters, with the goal of eventually becoming a “one stop shop” for all emergency services training. The driving track is the lates addition to the facility, and was completed in the summer of 2002. This new track provides the area with facilities to conduct Defensive Driving Courses and hold numerous automotive-related activities.
In the mid-1990’s when the vision for the RMESTC was born, the idea of Airport Director, Ron Mercer, and the Airport Authority Commissioners at that time, was to diversify the revenue stream of the Airport. By doing this, it would lessen the effects a volatile aviation market may have on the Airport’s budget. Utilizing the idea of “not having all the eggs in one basket”, the Airport began development of these non-aviation income assets. The Airport saw the need for such a facility and developed it.
The driving track is located just south of the Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center building and is designed as a multi-use facility to cover the needs of numerous groups. The facility itself covers an area of 25 acres. It is composed of a 1.2- mile oval track, which includes a 1-mile long straightaway, as well as many corners and other training scenarios. In addition, a six-acre skid pad is located inside of the track. These areas will provide an ideal location for hands-on driver training by several different entities.