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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #1
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Skyscraper Firefighting Simulator

New York City fire dept. says new simulator will help learning to battle high-rise blazes
23 January 2008

NEW YORK (AP) - Officials broke ground Wednesday on a simulator that will help firefighter trainees prepare to face a particularly dangerous type of blaze -- a high-rise fire.

The four-story, 4,000-square-foot (372-square-meter) space will be constructed atop an existing building and will include a dry standpipe system, mock elevators and stairways, and a mock fire command station. It will include layouts of residential, office and commercial space.

The training area will be able to simulate a fire and "flashover," the moment when everything combustible in a space goes up in flames. There will be video hookups on each floor for teaching purposes. It's scheduled to be completed next year.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the $4.5 million (euro3 million) simulator "will help train our members for one of the most notoriously complex parts of the job."

The city said that since 2004, more than $60 million (euro41 million) has been dedicated to improving the Fire Academy facilities.

Last year, two firefighters died in an August blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building, a condemned 41-story skyscraper. And in the 2001 terrorist attacks, 343 firefighters were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, whose twin towers stood 110 stories.

At the former Deutsche Bank building, a new fire suppression system will be able to detect a breach in the standpipe, officials said Wednesday. The standpipe, which supplies water to fire hoses, was broken when the fire occurred.
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