On Monday, the Merrill Fire Department unveiled a new high-tech fire extinguisher training device. This high-tech digital training device recently obtained by the MFD allows users to hone their fire extinguisher technique without an actual fire. The training device was purchased thanks to the generous donations received from three corporate citizens of Merrill area; Church Mutual Insurance Company, Weinbrenner Shoe Company and Park City Credit Union.
The new training device, BullsEye Digital Extinguisher Training System, operates via a LCD screen that reacts to a laser driven extinguisher. The system emits light and sound and reacts to the user properly applying the extinguisher to the base of the fire. The new system uses digital “flame” generation and sensor technology to simulate the dousing of a fire – or, if the fire extinguisher is improperly used, the escalation of the blaze.
The system also operates remotely using an Apple iPad which not only controls the training device but also electronically tracks class rosters, whether a student successfully extinguished the fire and how long it took for the fire to be extinguished.
As part of its Public Education Division, the Merrill Fire Department conducts fire extinguisher training to businesses, civic and other organizations. This past August approximately 125 citizens were trained on the use of a fire extinguisher, with approximately 250-300 citizens being trained during a typical year. The new training device is a direct result of review of the current fire extinguisher device, that uses a live flame. Fire Chief Dave Savone said, the system is a vast improvement over the traditional use of a propane-fueled fire in a pan to demonstrate proper fire extinguisher technique to such outside groups.
“The old system had many problems,” Savone said. Adding that actual fire could be only used outdoors on calm days. The new system can be used both inside and outside year-round. The Merrill Fire Department can now train individuals regardless of location or weather conditions.
“We are thankful to these three corporate citizens, for donating the necessary funding to improve to the public education program of the fire department,” Savone said. “These businesses are committed to the citizens and the community by making Merrill safer.”
Public safety and public education is of critical importance to the community. The Merrill Fire Department hopes to increase fire extinguisher training to city businesses, civic groups, schools and other organizations. Businesses and civic groups can schedule the extinguisher training through department by calling the fire station at 715-536-2233.