Firefighters get real-life training for plane fire

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 1:08 PM

PHOENIX -- The city of Phoenix has brought in a simulator that is invaluable for the firefighters. It’s a mobile aircraft fire simulator that’s designed to teach them how to deal with jet fuel spills, smoke and fire inside the plane and how to get inside and rescue passengers. It was created to be as real as possible, which includes hearing panicked screams from would-be passengers inside.

"They get to learn about aircraft, how to make entry, they have to open up the doors  and they learn about fighting fires with fuels," Deputy Chief Beth Hendel with the aircraft division of the Phoenix Fire Department. said.

Hendel said for the past 20 years, firefighters have had to go out of state to get this mandatory training. By having the simulator in town, it makes training for a possible plane fire even better.

“We get to come down to our own academy, we get to use our nozzles, our breathing equipment, turnouts, trucks so, in my opinion, if you're training in your own equipment you're going to be more efficient,” Hendel said.

Kellogg Community College in Michigan built the mobile simulator. By having it in the Valley, the city of Phoenix saves an estimated $200,000 because the firefighters won't have to leave town to train.

The Phoenix Fire Department will have this simulator for about a week to run 135 firefighters through the training.

Funding to bring the mobile unit to Phoenix came from some of the fees applied when you buy a plane ticket.

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