Firefighters fight real and simulated flames in mobile training unit

Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 4:51 PM CDT
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A mobile fire training unit rolled into Sherman a few days ago, training several area fire departments and showcasing the latest firefighting equipment.

At the Sherman Municipal Airport, a new mobile fire unit is changing the way firefighters train, making it as realistic as possible.

"This right here is a totally new experience," said Sherman fire engineer Brice Lambert.

Sherman firefighters lined up in front of the Lion Mobile Fire unit Thursday, fully equipped-- ready to fight simulated fires.

Based in Dayton Ohio, Lion Fire plans to take this unit to several states. Sherman was their second stop.

"We partner with departments to bring the mobile fire experience so fire departments have an opportunity to engage with the products," said marketing director Ray Perez- Pearson.

Inside the unit, firefighters are greeted with mock heavy smoke, which is actually water vapor, and a row of infrared panels that simulate flames-- crackling and responding just like a real fire-- which they put out using a laser or real water.

"They had us go in there and do a search and rescue on a dummy, after that we went inside put the fire out," said Sherman firefighter and paramedic Aaron Hicks. "It seemed pretty real."

Another simulation they offer is by lighting a metal car on fire.

The equipment they offer is aimed at preventing cancer in firefighters and is good for the environment as well.

Sherman firefighters said it was unlike any training they've ever experienced.

"Hands on training is one of the best things to do, it's getting faded out," Lambert said.

About 20 area fire departments came out in the past three days to experience the simulations and test out the new equipment.