Quality equipment is a major “must have” when training in these disciplines. Everything you’re doing is high risk and that risk must be managed by proper quality equipment. It not only makes your operation safer, but students will learn faster and better using the right gear for the right job. An example would be building a raker shore using 2x4 lumber and finishing nails. Yes, you can duplicate a raker shore using that material, but just because it looks like a raker, doesn’t mean it is one. Cuts will be different, the weight of the system will be different and any visual memory your students developed will be based on the wrong materials.
Visual memory plays a big role in our jobs (for most of us, anyway). When the you-know-what hits the fan, that picture that pops in your mind and guides your hands needs to be the right one. If money is a factor, budget for the drill or hire an outside agency to come in and hold the program for you. Either way, its money well spent. You’ll never be able to put a price tag on proper training that saved someone’s life.