College welcomes new burn structure for training
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Student firefighters will be put through their paces — and better prepared for the life-threatening scenarios they will face in the real world — thanks to a new emergency training building.
Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke, who is responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, announced the official opening Friday morning outside the new building that stands alongside Agnew Drive near the Brandon Municipal Airport.
“The practical training site that we are on today is a provincial landmark known to first responders all across Canada,” Clarke said. “It’s the only one of its type in our province.”
The new building replaces the original burn structure that still stands nearby and served as the training building for Manitoba Emergency Services College students for 24 years.
The new structure expands the training scenarios that trainee firefighters can learn to fight fires and perform rescues in safety, and includes confined-space rescue and the use of simulated smoke to reduce firefighter smoke exposure.
“Training saves lives, and we hope that it gets first responders home safe,” said Manitoba’s fire Commissioner, Ryan Schenck.
During a tour of the new multi-storey building, Schenck said student firefighters can practise room searches, ventilation, confined-space rescue, fighting gas fires, and the building includes a simulated elevator shaft. Walls can move to simulate various building layouts to provide fresh scenarios so trainees need to use critical thinking skills and troubleshooting.
The ability to adjust configurations will give the building longevity, Schenk said. As construction changes, so can the building. Also, it’s height will help trainees learn to deal with large structures that are growing ever more prominent, such as cell-phone towers.
“It’s kind of a one-stop-shop for many and most of the foundational skills that you need to be a firefighter,” he said.