Photo via: Amagill
While not often a target of environmental groups due to the increased preparation and safety it promotes, a firefighters training regiment is anything but green. Such training often involves the controlled burning of vehicles, hay, and wood structures. The byproduct of such a rigorous training schedule results in thick, black, billowing clouds of toxic smoke and fumes, which not only simulates the danger to the firefighters and victims, but also the environmental catastrophe these types of fires promote.But you can't just not train for the sake of the environment, especially when a fire victim can be within seconds of life or death depending on how fast a firefighter is able to take control of the situation. A new training facility in the North Metro District of Denver is taking the realism of fire, and putting a clean twist to it. They are using clean burning propane gas to produce the intensity of flames without the aftermath of pollution.
The structures in these facilities include home, automotive, and office building settings where everything from the floors, ceiling, and furniture are controlled via a computer aided flame system. The operator of the system can designate to what degree the flames are hurled at the firefighters, minimizing the chance of accidental death due to a practice burn getting out of control.
When the drill is over, the fires are all shut-down, the smoke is sucked out, and within seconds you would never have known the area was just engulfed in flames. The floors of the training buildings are also sloped to a slight degree to allow the water used during the simulations to be drained into retention ponds, where it can be recycled and used again.
Districts from all over Colorado are taking advantage of the new facility, which due to its clean burning nature, has absolutely no environmental restrictions. This means the training can be conducted as often as needed without the safety and environmental risks normally associated with it.