June 14, 2022 By Laura Aiken
June 14, 2022, Mississauga, Ont. — During May’s OAFC Conference and Trade Show, The Office of the Fire Marshal was hosting tours of one of Ontario’s new mobile live fire training units (MLFTUs). The unit is one of two roaming the province, and at the time of the OAFC show, the units had already put 2000 firefighters through training.
In a follow-up with the OFM, John Snider, assistant deputy fire marshal for training and certification, said “it is very rewarding to see the growth of the firefighters’ skills and confidence as they complete live fire evolutions with the MLFTU during their training sessions.”
The new mobile training units are part of the province’s plan to expand and modernize access to firefighting training with the intent of bringing additional high-quality, hands-on training directly to fire services in all regions.
“These units are part of our commitment to modernize firefighting training and to ensure that such training is accessible and scalable to meet the needs of fire services across the province,” said John McBeth, director of training, certification and public education for the OFM, via email.
The unit, built by Dräger, has multiple areas to accommodate a variety of training scenarios. The unit is modular and can be reconfigured. At the trade show, one section was set up as a kitchen fire that produces artificial smoke Propane props are designed to be easy to reset. The interior can be hosed down to clean. There are standpipe connections, a sprinkler, and a couch to simulate a living room. The unit is made to deliver pre-flashover conditions and departments can also train to a basement fire scenario. The third fire prop area is upstairs, where firefighters train on laddering the second story window. There is also a roof prep that was added to train ventilation. The fire simulation firefighter training meets the job performance requirements outlined in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) training standards.
“These units promise to deliver realistic training to ensure that the men and women of the fire service are prepared to respond to calls for service…and the MLFTU allows them to train for an emergency as realistically as possible,” said Jon Pegg, Ontario Fire Marshal, in a statement.
“The feedback we have received from firefighters that have used the MFLTU has been excellent and the OFM looks forward to their continued travel across the province,” added Snider.
Two operators are always needed during training, with one occupying a command centre that is cordoned off from the rest of the unit. Inside the command centre is a button that will shut everything down in case of emergency. There are also cameras showing each area of the unit and safety monitoring functions as well.
The mobile unit stays on location for one week and ideally will draw more than one department in the region for training while it is there. There is no cost to train in the unit, and the OFM is looking to rotate it through regions in a way that is mapped out logically. The units are currently booked for the 2022 season and questions about applications can be directed to AskOFC@Ontario.ca.
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