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KCC’s Air Rescue Firefighter Trainer to train firefighters at Muskegon airport | News

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KCC’s Air Rescue Firefighter Trainer to train firefighters at Muskegon airport
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KCC’s Air Rescue Firefighter Trainer to train firefighters at Muskegon airport

MUSKEGON – Kellogg Community College’s Air Rescue Firefighter (ARFF) Trainer, an aircraft fire simulator used to train fire departments across the United States and Canada to respond to aircraft fires, will be at Muskegon County Airport on April 21.

Witnesses at the airport should note that the training exercises can produce
20- to 30-foot high-intensity flames and emergency response vehicles will be on scene at the airport. These measures are a planned part of the ARFF training exercises.

The ARFF trainer is a unique, Federal Aviation Administration-approved mobile aircraft firefighting trainer specifically designed to be used by fire departments to meet their annual “hot drill” certification requirements by simulating realistic aircraft fire scenarios. The trainer can simulate fires caused by flammable liquid spills, engines, interior cabins, wheel brakes and auxiliary power units.

Emergency responders at many of the country’s largest airports, including airports in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Orlando and Indianapolis, in addition to the Kennedy Space Center and several Air Force bases and Naval Air Stations, have used the trainer. The trainer is also used by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to practice storming an aircraft for operations related to hijacking, terrorist and hostage situations.

  • The ARFF training benefits participating departments by providing:
  • Increased skills performance through team practice with the departments’ own equipment.
  • The elimination of travel costs – which can be up to $90,000 for a large department, depending on how far the department has to travel – for the team by using a mobile trainer at the airport site.
  • The elimination or decrease of overtime pay because personnel can train during duty hours.
  • The ability to invite mutual aid responders to train with the department.
  • A total of 8 hours of training, including both classroom and hands-on training.
  • The possibility of customized training based on the airport, the city or the county’s needs.

The ARFF trainer weighs 80,000 pounds, looks like a Breechcraft 1900 passenger aircraft, is built around a 50-foot-long trailer which is towed by a 2003 Peterbilt semi-tractor, has a 1,300-square-foot spill pan area, has four aircraft engines and can burn 800 gallons of propane for an eight-hour training session.

Despite the heat and intensity of the ARFF trainer, the aircraft is very safe because the trainers have complete control of the flames during all training exercises. In addition, the Kellogg Community College trainers that provide the training include current airport firefighters and fire chiefs, retired assistant fire chiefs, military airport firefighters and a current public safety officer.

For more information about the ARFF program and a photo gallery, visit www.kellogg.edu/arff.

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