MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford Fire is taking a high-tech approach to training its firefighters.
A few of the department’s future leaders went through fire simulations Sunday, using computer models.
The program, Digital Combustion, allows them to take a picture of a building and add in realistic effects for a number of fire scenarios.
They can change the size and location of the fire, as well as manipulate its condition, such as whether or not water had already been used on it or how thick the smoke is. That allows trainees to see the results of their choices without any actual risk.
“If they make good decisions I can change that,” said Battalion Chief Brian Fish. “Now their actions are affecting the fire and knocking it down.”
The Digital Combustion program is one of several used by Medford Fire. They also have iPad apps that can recreate a fire scene on the spot instead of having to describe it.
Software like Digital Combustion can cost around $500, but Fish says it’s much cheaper than live fire exercises.