KCC’s Air Rescue Firefighter Trainer to train firefighters in Flint

Firefighters train using KCC's ARFF Trainer. Photo by Connie Dawe.

Firefighters train using KCC’s ARFF Trainer. Photo by Connie Dawe.

Kellogg Community College’s Air Rescue Firefighter (ARFF) Trainer, an aircraft fire simulator used to train fire departments across the United States to respond to aircraft fires, will be at Bishop International Airport in Flint training firefighters this Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17.

Observers at the airport should note that the training exercises can produce 20- to 30-foot high-intensity flames and emergency response vehicles will be on scene at the airport. These measures are part of the ARFF training exercises.

Questions about the training may be directed to Chief Christopher Miller, director of public safety at the airport, at cmiller@bishopairport.org.

The ARFF trainer is a Federal Aviation Administration-approved mobile aircraft firefighting trainer designed to be used by fire departments to meet their annual “hot drill” certification requirements by simulating realistic aircraft fire scenarios. The trainer can simulate fires caused by flammable liquid spills, engines, interior cabins, wheel brakes and auxiliary power units.

The ARFF training benefits participating departments by providing:

  • Increased skills performance through team practice with the departments’ own equipment.
  • The elimination of travel costs – which can be up to $90,000 for a large department, depending on how far the department has to travel – for the team by using a mobile trainer at the airport site.
  • The elimination or decrease of overtime pay because personnel can train during duty hours.
  • The ability to invite mutual aid responders to train with the department.
  • A total of eight hours of training, including both classroom and hands-on training.
  • The possibility of customized training based on the airport, the city or the county’s needs.

The ARFF trainer weighs 80,000 pounds, looks like a Beechcraft 1900 passenger aircraft, is built around a 50-foot-long trailer towed by a 2003 Peterbilt semi-tractor, has a 1,300-square-foot spill pan area, has four aircraft engines and can burn 800 gallons of propane during an eight-hour training session.

Despite the heat and intensity of the ARFF trainer, the aircraft is safe because the instructors have complete control of the flames during all training exercises.

For more information about the ARFF program, visit www.kellogg.edu/arff.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at daily.kellogg.edu/category/press-releases.