Fire simulator will help train businesses and their workers to fight flames

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - How do you train to react when a fire breaks out?

"Typically we would have to use the old-school fire extinguisher, try to have a good day and go outside and do it," Rhonda Charles, an administrator at the Ursuline Center said.

But that’s not the case anymore. Thanks to a $26,000 grant from the Old Newsboys, Toledo Fire and Rescue can provide training inside the facility, in real-time and right where you might be making those life-saving decisions.

Dennis Kookoothe, the public educator with Toledo Fire, tells 13abc that with the new equipment, "We can go into factories and set up a Class B fire with boiling liquids. We can set up a fire that has a lot of current, where they have to know the proper equipment and technique, and how to de-energize the equipment and get out."

He credits Rachel Dorn, who works with both the Old Newsboys and TFRD's support dog, Smoky, for securing the money for the department.

The digital screen shows the fire, and it's linked to various tools that you might have in a public building, like a fire alarm and an extinguisher. Kookoothe says he's applied for multiple grants to get the training equipment. So, he turned to the Old Newsboys, and within hours, they had the money they needed.

Jim Pool is the president of the Old Newsboys organization. He says when volunteers learned of the need, it was an easy decision to get the money together.
"It was easy for us to give them these tools to go out in the community and train people in their location so they know and they're in a familiar setting," Pool said. "It just makes it a little more comfortable for them."

Volunteers with the Old Newsboys have been collecting donations to help local children in need for 90 years. And they're not done. As the holiday season approaches, they're holding their annual charity newspaper drive this Friday.

Pool says, "Sun up to sun down, we'll be on all the street corners with the red vests. Every penny counts, and every penny we raise goes right to the community.”

You can catch some of the volunteers with the Old Newsboys here at the 13abc studio this Friday, December 6th during our Hope for the Holidays Drive-Thru Bash!

If you'd like to schedule a training session with TFRD's new equipment, you're invited to call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (419) 245-1140.