Stillwater News Press

December 26, 2013

Simulator helps firefighters train for the real-life event

By Megan Sando
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The city of Stillwater has a new fire training simulator, which is equipped to hold temperatures up to 1,000 degrees, Stillwater Chief of Training Robert Black said.

Black said the purpose of creating a fire in a controlled environment is to help firefighters train for the real thing.

The simulator is small and made of steel four inches thick.

All the mechanical parts are controlled by a Bluetooth-enabled computer, allowing the fire officials to measure and record temperatures inside. Smoke vents on the ceiling allow for more or less smoke, with drains to filter out water.

The main compartment is a control and waiting area for the fire to ignite.The fire is started behind a steel door in a burn rack filled with shipping pallets and straw.

“Class A materials burn clean, compared to rubber or plastic that can let off damaging chemicals,” Black said.

The Fire Department chose not to have the burn simulator inside the main training container because of its 10-year life expectancy. Burning is hard on equipment.

“Firefighters have 20 hours of required training per week,” he said.

Instead of having training at Karsten Creek, firefighters can be closer to town and ready to go for a 911 call.

Firefighters will use outdoor training when weather permits.

The Fire Department acquired the training equipment in late September and had its first “training for the trainer” Dec. 10.

Black expects a public debut of the fire simulator with a live simulation after the holidays.