Mobile unit to train firefighters in escaping

Philadelphia Fire Department members demonstrate a new piece of mobile training equipment during a national firefighters' summit Wednesday at the National Constitution Center. Story, B5.
Philadelphia Fire Department members demonstrate a new piece of mobile training equipment during a national firefighters' summit Wednesday at the National Constitution Center. Story, B5. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 16, 2014

The Philadelphia Fire Department on Wednesday unveiled its newest piece of training equipment: a mobile apparatus with stairs and windows that will allow firefighters to practice escaping from harm's way.

The Survivability Mobile Training Unit, which officials said costs $170,000 and was paid for with grant money, is expected to save the city money.

"It reduces cost for time and travel," Mayor Nutter told reporters during a news conference at the National Constitution Center.

Firefighters normally have to travel to the Fire Academy in the Northeast for fire escape training, Nutter said. The mobile unit eliminates that need.

The unit's design meets Philadelphia's needs. When assembled, it resembles a two-story structure with windows, and many of the city's fires involve two-story rowhouses, said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

The unveiling and demonstration of the equipment was done to coincide with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Safety/Training Officer's National Summit being held at the Constitution Center.

"We want to make sure everyone goes home, that is the key," Ayers said during his opening remarks at the summit, referring to the importance of fire safety and training.

"During my time as mayor, we have unfortunately lost three firefighters in the line of duty," Nutter said, naming Capt. Robert Neary, Lt. Daniel Sweeney, and Battalion Chief Michael Goodwin. "Those are some of the worst moments that any of us have experienced in this city."


cvargas@phillynews.com

215-854-5520 @InqCVargas

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