Fire department trains on simulator

By Thomas Carver
Cowley Courier Traveler – June 14, 2018

Photos by Thomas Carver

Firefighters and EMS personnel in Cowley County are undergoing training from a mobile facility that simulates real-world events.

The Arkansas City Fire Department has been training with the University of Kansas Fire Service Emergency Driving Simulator starting Monday.

The training concluded Wednesday as all of the emergency personnel trained for every vehicle they operate including, ambulance, fire tanker, fire engine and regular response truck.

The simulator is scheduled to go to Winfield after it undergoes maintenance back in Lawrence following the Ark City exercises.

Mike Cook has been in charge of the simulator since July of 2017 when it was put into service after receiving a national fire grant in order to build this $450,000 mobile facility.

The training facility is a rolling piece of technology with many capabilities. Cook can start simulations using a tablet, change the weather, daytime or night and control the entire situation with a press of a digital button.

Firefighters, emergency crews and even Fire Chief Bobby Wolf learned from the simulated real-world situations. The simulations can be rolled back to the point of failure to make changes to successfully complete the training. The exercise is even equipped with a camera to see what the person in the driver’s seat was doing at the time of playback.

One of the simulations is an accident that occurred in 2017 in Andover, where responders missed the turn off the turnpike traveling to the site. While en route, the ambulance could not make the turn through the emergency turn-around, pulled over in the median, waited for traffic, then tried to make its way back through the median.

The ambulance was struck by a semi-tractor trailer at more than 60 mph. The backend box of the ambulance was separated from the rest of the vehicle but somehow the personnel inside were unscathed.

The trailer has two separate training stations with working switches, knobs and even seats that move according to what is happening.

Most departments in Cowley County have requested the trailer come to their locations for personnel to experience it themselves. This training is not mandatory, but by request of the departments.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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