New simulator trains firefighters to put out ship fires

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A new fire simulator in Pensacola teaches first responders how to put out fires on or around the Gulf Coast.

On Monday morning, the Pensacola Fire Department introduced its new Marine Fire Training Simulator, designed to teach firefighters how to put out ship fires.

The simulator is designed like the interior of a tugboat and mimics possible hazards on ships, such as an engine or galley fires. Fire officials said it would be used to train firefighters in the event of a nearby ship or boat fire.

“It’s no accident that we’re doing so well,” Fire Chief Ginny Cranor said. “We have to practice this and be prepared. This gives our fighters the opportunity to train in firefighting on board, which is a very unique type of firefighting due to the construction of a large ship or ship.

Cranor said firefighters begin their training by visiting ships at the Port of Pensacola. The Marine Fire Training Simulator was primarily funded through a Port Security Grant acquired by the Port of Pensacola.

“When we do a tour of large vessels, we look for areas where we can connect hoses or use the vessel to help us put out the fire,” Cranor said. “Then we come here and apply what we’ve learned.”

Firefighters quickly extinguished a simulated engine fire on Monday, March 28. The simulator can also be used to teach repulsion and rope rescue.

“It gives our firefighters the opportunity to come here and train so that when they see this real event, they’ll be ready,” Cranor said.

City fire officials hope the simulator will help save lives.

“Fire prevention is working, 24 hours a day, Pensacola firefighters are doing that job,” Cranor said. “We are very grateful for that.”

The simulator is the only maritime live-fire simulator in the region. It will be used for a variety of firefighter training for the Pensacola Fire Department and other area fire departments.

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