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Xenia mobile fire unit provides training across Greene County

The city of Xenia’s mobile fire trainer spent Thursday in Beavercreek, where firefighters safely practiced putting out fires.

Lt. Tom Norris of Xenia Fire Division said that more than five years ago the city earned a grant to purchase a trailer used for fire simulation and training exercises. The mobile unit travels around Greene County to departments including Beavercreek, plus Sugarcreek and Spring Valley townships.

“We’re able to take it out and we’re able to replicate fire scenes in an extremely safe manner,” Norris said during Thursday’s training on North Orchard Lane.

The interior of the unit includes burn props such as a crib, sofa and stove to simulate various fire scenarios. Inside the unit, walls can be moved to create different-sized rooms, Norris said.

The environment is safe, Norris said, because the walls and floors are made with aluminum, which is not combustible.

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“It’s very safe,” Norris said.

During the training, firefighters can simulate the “rollover” stage of a fire in which heat rises and collects gas before the smoke ignites at a certain temperature.

There’s an instructor for every five students, as well as ignition and safety officers that control the level of smoke, fire and ventilation, according to Norris.

The fire simulations are run off propane donated by Collett Propane in Xenia.

“The training they have to go through and the training the trailer provides is important,” said Tyler McCormick, Xenia office manager at Collett Propane. “It’s always been important to us to support our community and fire department,” to facilitate a safe training environment.

The family-run company has donated propane to Xenia Fire since at least 2009. The mobile unit uses less than 100 gallons of propane gas each year.

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