Fire Company applies for grant for training trailer

T he Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company has applied to FEMA 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) through the office of Homeland Security for a portable live fire training simulator mounted on a trailer to expand its fire education resources. This unit is capable of being moved to locations that best suits the fire company needs. Safe and effective training in a controlled environment fueled by a small, contained fire of class A combustible materials will insure firefighter safety over the structural uncertainty of an acquired building. Class A combustibles are readily available for a fuel source as opposed to propane, which is expensive to run. Currently, Whitehall volunteer firefighters have to travel more than an hour away to receive live fire training — costing time and money. NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Standard and Whitehall Volunteer Fire company SOP’s require a minimum of two pieces of apparatus for water supply, in addition to several personal vehicles which are necessary to transport firefighters and their turn-out gear to a live fire training tower in Ballston Spa. In addition, training time is difficult to book due to the high demand on the unit and the fact that Saratoga County fire units get preferential treatment in scheduling. Proposed training programs will incorporate live fire, a wall breach, void space fires, an SCBA maze system, basement fires, operations on interior stairs and rooftops with pitched and flat roof ventilation props, window and ladder use props, sheetrock ceiling pull, pike pole prop, and hydraulic ventilation. This equipment will mesh with New York State Firefighter I and Firefighter II training programs and complies with NFPA 1001 Basic Skills and NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training standard. Safety Officer training consistent with NFPA 1521 Standard for Department Safety Officer will be held at this facility. This facility will be available to local departments, and can be moved to their community when necessary, for example during any fire training, which includes state, county, and local department training includes Live Fire Training exercises. New York State Department of Corrections will use this facility to train prison fire brigades from the five correctional facilities in the area. This unit will provide a reliable, safe area to train with our mutual aid partners. In regards to operational-level rescue, this unit will provide an opportunity to train several Rapid Intervention Teams (RIT are firefighter rescue units) for our area, as there are none in northern Washinton County. The fire company has had standard operating procedures based on NFPA 1403 live fire training since 1988. The cost of this unit will be $ 180,000. The fire company has also requested $76,000 for a new brush truck. Projects are expected to be awarded early 2012. The fire company received $50,000 in 2010 for Personal Protective Equipment such as turn-out coats, bunker pants, gloves and new gear lockers to store them at the station. In 2009, the fire company received $21,000 for new cross-band repeaters system, a rescue manikin, a smart board for the classroom and an AED for the new Engine-Rescue.

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