Mobile fire simulator trailer to enhance fire safety education in Bloomington

July 9, 2024

Fire safety education in Bloomington

A mobile trailer capable of simulating dangerous fire situations will soon be introduced in Bloomington, Illinois, as reported by CIPROUD.

This new tool aims to bolster fire safety education in the community.

The trailer, supplied by Illinois-based JHB Group, costs over $180,000.

However, State Farm Insurance will cover $60,000, and the Foreign Fire Board will contribute $30,000, reducing the city’s financial burden to half of the total cost.

Features of the fire simulator trailer

The simulator can recreate various types of fires, including cooking, appliance, and bedroom fires.

Bloomington Fire Chief Cory Matheny emphasized the educational value of this tool: “It gives a lot more versatility to really hone in on some issues that are affecting the residents of the city, but also nationwide trends with cooking fires and things like that.

“It gives them (residents) experience of using a fire extinguisher, seeing smoke come out of stuff, and it makes them more prepared to respond in a real emergency.”

Matheny noted that while the department has mainly focused on educating children about fire safety, they now aim to reach a broader audience, particularly individuals who live alone and might not be as self-sufficient.

“We’re trying to reach out to that population and make sure that we’re giving them an opportunity to be safe, learn, have a bit of fun, and give us a chance to interact with them,” he added.

Leadership and funding

Fire department Public Information Officer Frank Friend has been instrumental in the effort to acquire the fire simulator trailer.

The combined funding from State Farm Insurance and the Foreign Fire Board highlights the community’s commitment to enhancing fire safety education.

Additionally, at the recent city council meeting, a bid from Stark Excavating for an intersection improvement project at Wylie Drive and Maple Hill Drive was rejected.

The proposed cost was $984,316, significantly exceeding the budgeted $629,633.

City staff will now seek more cost-effective solutions to complete the project.

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