September 27, 2022

Fire Safety Trailer works to educate, train community members

Since its arrival in Osceola in May, Clarke County Emergency Management and the Osceola Fire Department’s new “Fire Safety Training Trailer” has been busy traveling around town.

Seen at Tuesday Night in the Park events, the county fair, Fourth of July parade, visits to The Village and Clarke Elementary Back to School Wellness Fair, the trailer has been viewed and toured by many.

The training trailer contains kitchen and bedroom fire safety scenarios, such as cookies burning in the oven, bread burning in the toaster, and smoke in the bedroom. Severe weather warnings and safety instructions can play on a TV within the bedroom area.

The back half of the trailer contains adult-geared simulations with outdoor scenarios such as a grill fire. A lockout/tagout (procedures that ensure equipment is shut down and inoperable until repairs or maintenance can be completed) scenario can also be found within the trailer.

Cameras on the outside of the trailer allow observers to watch what is going on inside.

The trailer

The trailer was manufactured by JHB Group, Inc. in Illinois, and is unique in that it features both the home and industrial scenarios, where most others only have one of the settings.

“There are none other around like it; it was the most advanced at the time it was made,” said Byron Jimmerson, Osceola fire chief and Clarke County Emergency Management Coordinator.

JHB further customized the trailer by having the “view” from the kitchen window be that of the Banta House, and a newspaper clipping about the death of an Osceola night marshal during a fire in the early 1900′s hangs on the wall.

“It’s an all ages education experience,” said Jimmerson, who plans to use the trailer at the schools during Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15), the fire department’s October Fire Fair event, and Severe Weather Week in 2023.

“The Mt Ayr fire department has asked to use it; we’re willing to loan to anybody in the region who might want to use it,” said Jimmerson.

Extinguishers

In addition to the training trailer, two fire extinguisher simulators were also purchased as part of the final package.

The extinguishers are full size, and offer an augmented reality to users. An iPad on each extinguisher puts a fire where the camera is directed, and one can practice

extinguishing it. Jimmerson said that both Osceola Foods and Muellers have used the fire extinguisher simulators to fulfill their fire safety and extinguisher training.

Businesses or organizations interested in using either the trailer or the fire extinguishers can contact Jimmerson for a request form.

“[We’d] like to open it for viewing as much as we can,” said Jimmerson.

The trailer was purchased as part of a FEMA Fire Safety and Prevention Grant for about $178,000. The FEMA grant covered 95% of the cost, and a Clarke County Development Pillars Grant covered the remaining 5%.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.