What if your needs are for a permanent simulator. Well those are not difficult either. Just take a look at the simulator used at Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. It is designed to be stored up against the wall. During specific exercises the instructor can easily lower it to the floor and you now have changed the scenario instantly. The simulator is nothing more than a frame with a legs on one side and the other side secured to the wall on hinges to facilitate the movement from stored to being in active use. Again this simulator can be utilized at the three difficulty levels mentioned earlier.
Training with the Simulator
The object of this is not to have the student cut their way through, but to have them attempt to get through without becoming tangle. One area that has been reciprocated time and time again in evaluating firefighters is the ability to know and work with their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If the student becomes tangled in the simulator they should manipulate their PPE. The most come piece of PPE that becomes tangled on wires is the SCBA. The firefighter should remove or doff the SCBA and untangle the entrapment hazard and move to safety. Once at a safe location, free of entanglement hazards, the Firefighter will then don the SCBA. This exercise can be administered in 3 levels of difficulty. The low difficulty level is in a lighted atmosphere without any visual imparities. Moderate Level is done with visual impairments such as darkness or non-toxic training smoke. The Hardest level we add the external factor of heat to the moderate level. A kerosene torpedo heater in area can raise the temperature considerably to simulate the effects of fire without the extreme risks or the toxic smoke.
Students should always begin at the lowest levels and work up. The mastery of self-survival skills is imperative to the survival of firefighters.