Albany Fire Dept. may receive grant for emergency response simulators

The Albany Fire Department plans to use the Firefighter Grant for emergency response simulators to help firefighters practice driving to different situations in different conditions

Just like flight simulation for pilots, the Albany Fire Department needs emergency responders to practice driving to fires and other situations. This could happen with the help of an Assistance to Firefighter Grant.

Albany City Commissioners unanimously voted to authorize acceptance of this grant for the Albany Fire Department, meaning the department could be officially awarded this money as soon as Friday, according to Albany Fire Chief James Carswell.

He says the driving simulators are needed because they cannot use the actual fire vehicles for practice.

"These trucks cost a quarter of a million dollars: You can't put them on the road and run them up and down the street for no emergency. So it's one of these things where the simulators are advanced to the point you can put them in a simulated world then teach them how to react to all types of hazards," says Carswell.

These simulators even change reaction with the different weather conditions that trainers program during practice. It also simulates what would happen in high periods of traffic and if someone parked on the side of the road opened their door suddenly.