$18K Homeland Security Grant

11 30 17 - The Chillicothe Fire Department recently purchased a new educational tool to be used in the community for teaching the proper use of a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire. The department applied for a Fire Grant and received $19,000 of the $19,306.47 purchase of the new training system, leaving a minimal cost for the city of Chillicothe. Assistant Chief Eric Reeter stated the Department has been doing several OSHA required fire extinguisher trainings each year for local businesses and were at the mercy of weather conditions since the training being done was required to be outside with an actual burn pot. The businesses were also having to pay for refilling of the fire extinguishers after the training which was a significant expense to each of the businesses. It takes several fire extinguishers to get all the employees through the required training, and each of the extinguishers must be refilled at a cost to the business. With the new BullsEye system, the training can be conducted indoors in any weather condition, and there is no expense for the refilling of the extinguishers since the new system is a laser driven system providing for a realistic training scenario.

Shown here are Firefighters/Medics Jonathon Nolan, Aaron Roberts, Nathan Zabka, Lt. Andy Vaughn, and Lyle Lowe.

The BullsEye is a state-of-the-art training tool that uses digital flame generation and patented sensor technology to demonstrate proper fire extinguishment techniques. The BullsEye system can sense the location of the trainee if the trainee has properly aimed the extinguisher and if the trainee is properly sweeping the nozzle of the extinguisher. The system can also tell if the trainee has chosen the correct class of extinguisher. The system varies the digital flames in response, only extinguishing the fire if the proper technique is used. The BullsEye unit uses hundreds of LEDs and an on-board microprocessor to dynamically generate digital flames. Depending on the class of fire and level of difficulty selected by the instructor, the flames will grow, diminish and respond as the trainee attempts to extinguish the simulated fire. Trainees will fight the digital fire using either a laser-driven infrared extinguisher. The sensors on the BullsEye unit allow the system to interact with the trainee and detect where and how the trainee is using the training extinguisher. In each case, the system responds by increasing or decreasing the size of the flames in the area the user is targeting, relative to the trainee's technique and efforts. To successfully extinguish the fire, the trainee must sweep the extinguisher across the base of the fire. If the trainee aims just below or just above the base, the flames will diminish but will not be extinguished. If the trainee aims at only one side of the fire, that side will be extinguished while the other side continues to grow. The BullsEye is equipped with wireless technology to communicate with a Bullex smoke generator. Instructors can control the smoke settings manually or set the system to automatic smoke production tied to the size of the fire and time since ignition. The Bullseye Training System allows training that is clean, effective (simulates classA, B and C fires and 10 difficulty levels) and safe and training that can be conducted virtually anywhere. The system also provides trackable training in that after each successful evolution, the time to extinguishment is displayed on the panel. Training record collection allows instructors to record and monitor a trainee's progress, as well as easily export training records for sharing and creating certificates of completion. Assistant Chief Reeter said anyone in the community who would like to schedule fire extinguisher training for their organization or business should contact the department at 646-2139 to set a scheduled date and time for the training.


C-T 09 11 17 - Chillicothe City Administrator Darin Chappell has announced that the Chillicothe Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $18,891.00 from the Department of Homeland Security. The funding will be used to purchase a fire extinguisher training system.

"Training is the lifeblood of the Fire Service, and I am thankful for this new opportunity which will help keep residents and first responders of Chillicothe safer," said Chappell. Chappell stated that he was pleased that the city was awarded the grant thanks to the efforts of Chief Darrell Wright and his staff.

"The portable fire extinguisher training system for which it provides will help our firefighters train each other and also the business community." The AFG Program is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the nation's overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. These grants are awarded directly to fire and public safety departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public and first-responder personnel. Since 2001, AFG has provided about $6.7 billion to first-responder organizations.

Update October 9, 2017 - Six weeks ago, the Chillicothe Fire Department was awarded a $19,306 grant from the U.S. Fire Administration for a laser-driven fire extinguisher training program and equipment. On Monday, Chief Darrell Wright presented an ordinance to speed up the process for purchase approval. Before Monday, the City Administrator could approve a purchase under $10,000 without immediately presenting it to the council due to the monthly assembly of the council. Anything above $10,000 is required to be voted on by the council. In this case, the fire department received a grant specifically for the purchase with only a $949 match being required by the city of Chillicothe. The council did approve to allow City Administrator Darin Chappell the authority to approve the purchase, and the council will review the order at a later date. Chief Wright explained that due to the various fire extinguisher training classes provided by the department, the laser-driven program would save the city money usually spent on chemicals used throughout the year for those classes.

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