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      Albany Fire Department prepares new driving simulators

      New state-of-the-art driving simulators were assembled at the Albany Fire Training Center on Thursday.

      The two new training devices simulate real life situations firefighters face while driving the fire truck or a chief TMs car. Trainees will enhance their defensive driving as they face intersections and speed scenarios in urban, suburban and rural areas before driving on real emergency calls.

      The first time we put a driver in a seat now is on an emergency call, first time they're ever driving in traffic with little or no experience there: That's the way traditionally firefighters are trained, says Albany Fire Department Chief Ron Rowe. What this is going to be able to do is put them in situations where their cognitive skills will be elevated and improved, and once they get on the street they have more practice at what they've been doing, and it makes it safer for us as well as the public.

      The new simulators will also be able to help with EMS, bus transit and police training.

      Trainees will also be able to team up on simulated drives: The two devices interconnect into one scenario as if the truck and car were sent out at the same time for the same call.

      The two simulators were purchased with SPLOST V funds and a grant.