A fire safety trailer up for replacement in Wood County received another donation last week in the amount of $1,100 from the Port Edwards Lions Club.
The fire safety trailer, a staple of school field trips to the firehouse and safety awareness days that teach fire prevention and emergency preparedness, is in need of replacement in Wood County as their current model has been used for nearly 20 years. The Wood County Fire Chiefs Association is in the process of fundraising for a state of the art fire safety trailer to be used by fire departments all over Central Wisconsin.
“We’re very happy that civic groups like (the Lions) are willing to help us out with this project,,” said Grand Rapids Fire Chief Dan Bohn. “They saw the need to help out the youth…every donation helps toward our ultimate goal.”
The new state-of-the-art safety trailer, projected to cost $142,000, will be built by New York-based BullEx, a manufacturer of fire and workplace safety training equipment. Last month, Enbridge Energy made a donation of $20,100 to the trailer. Bohn said an application has been made for a $20,000 grant to put toward the trailer as well. He hopes to order the trailer by the end of the year.
“They’re so much more interactive and so much more realistic,” said Bohn.
Fundraising for the trailer is currently about halfway there, nearing about $75,000 according to Bohn. He said some donations are still pending based on fiscal year limitations but he expects more soon.
The new trailer will have more realistic smoke and fire simulations as well as laser simulated fire extinguishers for more interactive training. The trash can or oven may start simulating flames and if you point the laser fire extinguisher at it and use it correctly, the flames will die down. A severe weather simulator is also included which teaches safety in situations from light rain to hurricane situations.
Bohn said current house construction materials allow homes to burn six to eight times faster than houses from 50 or more years ago.
“These houses are so unsurviveable and they burn so quick they’re telling us we have to teach people how to get out of their houses as fast as possible,” he said.
A member of the Lions Club was not immediately available for comment.