ROCKY HILL -- Just behind the Rocky Hill Fire Department's station house the training grounds have a relatively new twist.
The all volunteer force has added some new technology inside their three-story burn building called the Bullex Fire Attack Simulator. The smoke and flames are fake but the training is real. "We were the first in Connecticut to have one," said Deputy Chief Mark Gentile who has served on Rocky Hill Fire Department for twenty years.
Gentile went on to describe the fire simulator as "a video game for the firefighters, it gives us a real hands-on ability to go put out a fire." Firefighters take aim at screens which project flames and get feedback they can use in real life situations.
"It gives them a real view," Gentile added "so they can keep that muscle memory and make sure they can do the job right."
Rocky Hill Fire Chief Mike Garrahy said, " since we're a volunteer department with a high call rate we need to look at these non-traditional training methods to keep our guys sharp."
Beyond the fire simulator, Rocky Hill also has training areas for vehicle extrication and a confined space system with 300 feet of underground tubing. Gerrahy noted that his department also shares their training technology with neighboring departments.