Emergency agencies buy driving simulators - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Emergency agencies buy driving simulators

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  The second leading cause of firefighter deaths in America is motor vehicle wrecks. The Albany Fire Department is working to protect its firefighters.

Tuesday, the city commission tentatively agreed to purchase driving simulators to train firefighters how to respond to emergencies safely. There will also be a simulator to train police.

 Right now the only way to train firefighters is to put them behind the wheel of a 15-ton truck. Training in a simulator should better prepare them for their first emergency call in the driver's seat. @

"Firefighters all across the country are dying in vehicle wrecks as we speak. Law enforcement officers are dying in accidents," said Albany Fire Chief James Carswell. "It's one of those things where we can train all day long how to drive during normal traffic conditions, but once you put them in an emergency response then all those variables change and this way it gives us the ability to put them in that simulated world to give them the tools where they can react properly in the real world."

The driving simulators cost about $300,000. That will be paid for with sales tax revenue.

Some of the money may be recouped over time as outside agencies pay to train on the equipment.

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