The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) recently took delivery on a new Specialized Mobile Fire Training Simulator System. The simulator is designed to provide specialized training in fire scenarios involving vehicles, dumpsters/trash receptacles, liquid spills, and gas cylinder fires. The system is incorporated with a trailer to make the training as accessible as possible as the Institute offers 80% of its training in the field to meet career and volunteer fire service schedules and needs. The simulator was acquired through the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security/FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funding, along with a local funding match from the University of Missouri Extension.
Based on fire department reporting, it is apparent that car fires and other special hazard exterior fires, such as dumpster fire situations, are increasingly more prevalent in fire department responses. Safe, realistic skills training in these areas are essential to protect firefighters and the community when responding to these unique and potentially hazardous emergency situations. In addition to meeting identified emerging fire training needs, this program will increase the Institute’s ability to serve more firefighters in the state at the local level through mobile training programs.
The simulator system was manufactured by Bullex Digital Safety to provide hands-on training in conjunction with the Institute’s identified specialized training courses for firefighters. The mobile unit provides students with the opportunity to apply skills acquired in a classroom in realistic hands-on training scenarios utilizing four different fire training props. Ultimately the new training program initiated by this mobile simulator system will enable safer, competent firefighters, thus ensuring safer citizens and safer communities.
The Institute recognizes the need to meet emerging fire training needs through its programming. By implementing a training program to address these training needs, the Institute is holding true to its mission to deliver quality fire and emergency response training programs to meet the occupational needs of the state’s emergency responders.
The first Vehicle Firefighting class utilizing the new training simulator was held in Wheatland, MO, on October 8, 2016. The class was hosted locally by Hickory County Fire and Rescue. Twenty-two students completing the training course. Subsidy funding to support the training delivery of the class was provided by State Farm® through a “Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant” with MU FRTI.
MU FRTI is a unit of MU Extension and is charged with the responsibility of providing comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri’s fire service and emergency response personnel. The Institute provides training to approximately 13,000 fire and emergency service first responders each year.