FEMA grant helps New London firefighters get new safety trailer

New London — City firefighters soon will have a new, computerized fire safety trailer thanks to a nearly $85,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to Chief Henry Kydd, the multifaceted trailer will be useful to firefighters and residents alike.

Built to simulate various types of blazes, the trailers typically feature objects like stoves and outlets that “catch on fire.” Firefighters then can use computerized fire extinguishers to figure out how best to approach the flames. A monitor inside offers tidbits and otherwise enhances the training.

The trailers also emit smoke and replicate other scenarios one would encounter in a real fire, which makes them useful for educating the public, Kydd said. He expects the department will take the trailer to schools, where students can practice escaping a structure that’s on fire and learn the importance of developing a plan for their own home.

Kydd said the department used to have a fire safety trailer, but handed it off to another department when officials determined it would be too costly to repair.

Kydd gave Fire Marshal Vernon Skau kudos for writing and obtaining the grant. He said the department matched 5 percent of the grant funding, which brought the total to just more than $89,000.

“It’s a tool that we can use to educate not only children but also families,” he said. “It’s going to enhance our public education and our fire prevention education.”

The department also purchased smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with the grant money.

l.boyle@theday.com

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