The Ohio Fire Academy was recently awarded $500,000 in federal grant funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which will allow them to upgrade vital equipment to assist in training to help keep Ohioans safe.
The Ohio Fire Academy plans to use these funds to purchase a new mobile Fire Behavior Lab, which allows students to experience fire and smoke that behaves the same as a regular fire, but in a contained setting. This allows them to learn to recognize signs that may indicate explosions or backdrafts, which could save their lives in a real critical incident.
Additionally, they will purchase a Hazardous Materials leak and fire simulator, a semi-tanker rollover simulator, and a high-fidelity EMS mannequin.
“Transportation incidents involving hazardous materials occur all across Ohio and present some unique hazards to first responders, citizens, and the environment,” said Ohio Fire Academy Superintendent Jack Smith. “Having the ability to train Ohio’s firefighters on the proper strategies and tactics to safely and effectively mitigate these types of incidents will make all Ohioans and our first responders safer as well as minimize the impact that these types of incidents have on the environment.”
The primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. This year alone 226 fire departments throughout Ohio received nearly $30.4 million in AFG funding.
Governor Mike Dewine was one of the primary authors of the AFG program in 2001, and since then AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.