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University Fire Department receives $360k for fire training unit

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: 907-474-7778

02/20/08

Photo caption below.
UAF photo by Brennon Haag
The University Fire Department will receive $360,000 from the Division of Homeland Security for the purchase of a 53-foot mobile training unit, or MTU, to simulate fire-fighting situations and meet required training under the National Fire Protection Association and Alaska Fire Service training standards. Students in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fire Science program will also have the opportunity to use the new mobile training unit.

"If I can provide quality training and do it safely--that means everything," said Fire Chief Edie Curry. "The gas-fired unit provides the greatest degree of safety for new members experiencing live fires for the first time." The MTU is realistic, simulated providing a variety of fire situations, but safer because the gas-fired flames can be shutoff--something you can't do with a live fire in a burning building. The MTU will also allow student firefighters to practice their firefighter skills with realistic props.

The UFD is the only student fire department of its kind in the U.S. Student firefighters must complete a 160-hour recruit academy and obtain the Alaska state Firefighter I certification. They work 24-hour shifts with 48 hours off--the same as any career firefighter, but also attend classes while on duty.

In addition, 11 fire departments throughout Interior Alaska will also be able to train using the new equipment. Currently, area fire departments look for opportunities to burn down buildings that are no longer in use, or stage training exercises at the Fire Training Center, which has a limited live-fire training structure.

Since the MTU's total purchase price is nearly $400,000, the university will provide $40,000 in matching funds. Once the Mobile Training Unit is purchased, it will be housed at University Fire Station #2 on University Avenue in Fairbanks.

CONTACT: Fire Chief Edie Curry at 907-474-7681 or via e-mail at fneic@uaf.edu or Carla Browning, media relations manager at 907-474-7778 or via e-mail at newsroom@uaf.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.prosafefire.com/