The University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MU FRTI) recently received a mobile firefighting training simulator, courtesy of the O'Fallon Fire Protection District.
The 53-foot trailer can be configured to simulate various interior and exterior environments, providing realistic live fire and search-and-rescue training, said Kevin Zumwalt, director of MU FRTI.
Manufactured by Pro-Safe Fire Training Systems, the mobile structural training unit (MTU) was originally purchased through a 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"The unit will support NFPA 1001 Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, Level I and II training and certification testing throughout the state of Missouri,” Zumwalt said. "This will enable firefighters to gain competency in essential fire service skills in order to develop or enhance their capabilities to serve their communities. This training will produce safer firefighters and safer communities, thereby reducing the loss of life and property from fire and other emergencies.”
O'Fallon Fire Protection District Chief Tom Vineyard said the need for the unit has diminished as neighboring departments have constructed fixed training facilities. "It was a logical decision to donate this unit to MU FRTI, as they will be able to continue the intent of training firefighters statewide."
The O'Fallon Fire Protection District has five stations and an Insurance (I.S.O.) Town Class 4 Rating and is internationally accredited through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. It is staffed by 65 paid employees, 12 reserve and 20 junior firefighters, serving a residential population of well over 85,000 in an area of 67 square miles in St. Charles County. The O'Fallon Fire Protection District is one of the fastest-growing fire districts in Missouri, according to state officials.
MU FRTI, part of University of Missouri Extension, provides comprehensive continuing professional education training to Missouri's fire service and emergency response personnel. Last year, more than 173,000 student instructional hours were delivered in training emergency first responders.