Forsyth County firefighters will soon have some new tools to help with their duties.
At a recent work session, Forsyth County commissioners unanimously approved four items to aid the county’s fire department with promoting fire safety education, improving training, gathering information and testing.
The first item approved was to allow the department to apply for a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. If selected, the award would not exceed $18,895 and the county would pay a required match of up to $995.
Officials with the department plan to use the funds for a “Hazard House.”
“This is just … a simulator for interactive training for education for elementary-aged students,” said Steve Baker, fire marshal division chief. “If you can imagine a small, mini-house with all the various rooms, you can simulate fires and hazards throughout the house. The kids can actually see what happens when smoke travels through the home.”
Baker said the house could be disassembled into two parts and transported.
To aid with investigations, commissioners approved $60,196 for a Faro Technologies 3D Scanning Solution. Officials said the equipment would be used in the forensic investigations of fires and could also be used at crime scenes and fatal automobile accidents.
“It will reduce our on-scene time and take a process that’s very time-consuming and [requiring] multiple people, two or three people on very large-scale scenes, [and] we’ll be able to do that in a fraction of the time with more accuracy,” said Barry Head, division chief of field operations.
Commissioners also approved $82,052 for fire vent training equipment.
“It provides them training opportunities basically for roof safety dangers,” said Donna Kukarola, the county’s procurement director.
The largest amount of funding, totaling $115,000, was for promotional testing for apparatus operation, lieutenant, battalion chief and captains at the department.