by Maddy Hester
KANELAND—A bigger and better simulator is being built for the Fox Valley Career Center’s fire science program. The facility will provide an environment where the class can simulate situations in a burning building and will be shared with neighboring fire departments for training exercises.
The facility is in the first stages of being built; having broke ground and installed gravel before Thanksgiving.
“We are hoping this site will be ready to use later this spring,” Fire Science teacher Gary Baum said.
The facility will consist of six shipping containers strategically placed to simulate structures that the students, as they become firefighters, could possible encounter when called to a structure fire. It will have smoke machines and orange strobe lights throughout so students can learn to feel their way around as they would have to do in a real fire.
The funding for this project came from a grant.
“Mr. Baum applied and received the Kane County Riverboat Grant for $50,000, a little short of what we applied for. He had applied three years ago and was turned down, and also applied two years ago and was turned down,” FVCC director Larry Imel said. “He applied this year and received the grant. We have also received a lot of donated equipment and work.”
Fire science students used to travel to a simulator twice a year for practice, but having one at FVCC will allow them to use one whenever they want and enable them to do ladder drills more effectively.
“This is everything we’ve hoped for,” Baum said. “We’ve been very lucky.”