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Officials Unveil Mobile Fire Training Trailer In Albany

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan addresses reporters gathered at the Port of Albany as Senator Chuck Schumer and others look on.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan addresses reporters gathered at the Port of Albany as Senator Chuck Schumer and others look on.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer joined city officials Friday for the unveiling of a new mobile training trailer for the Albany Fire Department.

During a July 2017 visit to Engine 10 on Brevator Street in Albany, the Democratic Senate Minority Leader announced the city’s application for a federal grant that would allow the fire department to purchase a mobile fire simulator trailer had been approved.

Schumer says until now, there were just two training facilities in Albany County that the Albany Fire Department could use, both outside the city.   “When they train a class of new recruits or when veteran firefighters needed  to hone their skills, they had to spend dollars to send the firefighters away from the firehouse and they went to a training tower in Colonie or Bethlehem.”

The new simulator can be driven to a firehouse or field location for training purposes. Mayor Kathy Sheehan heralded the trailer as "a game-changer."   "It will continue to ensure that our fire department and other firefighters in the region have the most state of the art equipment. They put their lives on the line every day. We've had massive fires in the city of Albany, unfortunately. And the training of our firefighters is so important for their safety and for the safety of our residents, and this would not have been possible without a $426,000 federal grant."

The simulator allows Albany firefighters to train on six unique and critical firefighting skills, including: fire suppression, forcible entry, roof operations, search and rescue, thermal imaging, and Personal Safety System.    “So they get real heat and fire behavior experience. They can practice forcible entry, needed to get into burning structures. Roof ventilation, needed to relieve the heat and gasses that occur when there’s a fire. They can fill a room with safe, synthetic smoke, so the firefighters can practice when they can hardly see in front of them and their eyes are burning.”

The simulator can travel throughout the Capital Region to assist with firefighters’ hands-on training.

Albany Fire Chief Joseph Gregory says the unit will allow his firefighters to develop and enhance their situational awareness in multiple skill areas while better preparing them in a more realistic environment.   "This mobile training trailer is the first major piece of fire training equipment that our department has built in over 40 years and we're extremely anxious to begin utilizing all of the tactical and strategic capabilities that will be provided by this particular piece of equipment for many years to come."

Schumer noted the trailer was built locally by LION Fire Training Equipment.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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