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UConn fire department awarded $5,000

By Julia Werth
On April 8, 2014

Yesterday, the University of Connecticut's Fire Department was presented with a $5,000 grant from FM Global that will be used to purchase a fire extinguisher training system.

"We are going to use the money to purchase a fire extinguisher simulator that will allow us to train those within and outside of the fire department safely without real fire," said UConn Fire Chief John Mancini

A fire extinguisher training simulator is a relatively new piece of equipment that allows any person to learn how to use a fire extinguisher without the hazards or space requirements of real fire. The training simulator is also much better for the environment.

"The simulator is green and it will save money," said FM Global representative Bill Santos, "It reduces fossil fuel and water use as well as carbon admissions, it's very good environmentally."

The fire extinguisher simulator is similar to a video game or Wii. 

"It will give you the same feel as a real fire extinguisher, some of the simulators even produce fire and different types of fire like grease and paper," Mancini said. 

As a property insurance company FM Global has a vested interest in educating as many residents of the UConn community on how to properly use a fire extinguisher in order to reduce damage, Santos said.

"The simulator could be used to train the fire fighters, RAs, facilities people and others," Santos said.

Now that the fire department has received the funding, they will start to work on purchasing the simulator Mancini said. Once they have the equipment, hopefully this summer, they will begin discussions with different UConn organizations to determine who they will educate and the best way to do so.

FM Global has contributed millions of dollars over the past 35 years in grants such as this in order to prevent fire and fire damage. Last year FM Global awarded $300,000 to deserving organizations. The $5,000 grant UConn received, however, is one of the biggest that they give out, according to Santos. 

"We are trying to give back to the community," Santos said.

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