Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

Preparing for an aircraft disaster: at a community and technical college in Minnesota, a specialized training program is preparing rescue workers to face one of the most terrifying kinds of accidents.

Response and rescue workers at the site of an airplane crash require a specialized training, and when large commercial airliners or military craft go down, that training could mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of people. Because of the large amounts of fuel carried by airplanes, accidents often involve quickly spreading flames from ignited fuel spills; therefore firefighters must be able to analyze the situation almost instantly and then respond accordingly if there is to be any hope for survivors.

Simulating a Crash

One place where aircraft rescue firefighting is being provided is at Lake Superior College Lake Superior College offers pre-baccalaureate majors for students interested in transferring to senior educational institutions as well as over 75 certificate, diploma and degree programs in career/technical fields. , a community and technical college in Duluth, Minnesota. The school's high-tech fire training simulator offers the opportunity for advanced hands-on training.

The simulator is a two-thirds-scale mock up of a 757 airplane that is 75 feet long with a wingspan of 57 feet. There is a burn pit that is 125 feet in diameter. The simulator has 98 computer-controlled burn segments, 13 separate types of fires, and what the schools says is an almost unlimited number of programmable fire scenarios. The maximum flame height is 50 feet, and the internal temperature reaches 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the ceiling. In a full burn, the maximum fuel consumption is 1,780 gallons in three minutes "Three Minutes" is the 46th episode of Lost. It is the twenty-second episode of the second season. The episode was directed by Stephen Williams, and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. It first aired on May 17, 2006 on ABC. . Billowing bil·low  
1. A large wave or swell of water.

2. A great swell, surge, or undulating mass, as of smoke or sound.

v. bil·lowed, bil·low·ing, bil·lows

 smoke and 50-foot-high propane-fueled flames bring a terrifying ter·ri·fy  
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.

2. To menace or threaten; intimidate.
 spectacle to mind for an average citizen. "It gets your attention," says Dave Sarazin, the emergency training program director at Lake Superior College, in the typically understated manner of the professional who is accustomed to facing danger.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Sarazin, there are probably 30 other types of simulators for this training, but he believes that none of them are as complex as the one at his institution. The Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and  (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.

eicosapentaenoic acid

EPA, See acid, eicosapentaenoic.

) appreciates the environmental friendliness of the Minnesota school's simulator, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. agency established (1970) in the Dept. of Labor (see Labor, United States Department of) to develop and enforce regulations for the safety and health of workers in businesses that are engaged in interstate  (OSHA OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the US Department of Labor responsible for establishing and enforcing safety and health standards in the workplace.
) likes the safety aspects. Because of the valving system and the use of propane fuel, it can be shut down in two-and-a-half to three seconds.

"The EPA likes it because it doesn't pollute," says Sarazin. "OSHA likes it because it is infinitely controllable."

World-Class Training

The Lake Superior College aircraft rescue program also has two classrooms, four equipment bays, a staging/assembly room and a decontamination decontamination /de·con·tam·i·na·tion/ (de?kon-tam-i-na´shun) the freeing of a person or object of some contaminating substance, e.g., war gas, radioactive material, etc.

 apparatus instructional area. Support facilities include a control tower, wastewater treatment facility, holding pond and propane storage tanks. With support from approximately $15 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), component of the U.S. Department of Transportation that sets standards for the air-worthiness of all civilian aircraft, inspects and licenses them, and regulates civilian and military air traffic through its air traffic control , the 95-acre site was opened in 1994.

Classes in the program include an eight-hour course on spill fires and wheel, baggage and cabin fires. A two-day refresher class is geared toward situations involving large-frame aircraft. The 40-hour aircraft rescue firefighting course includes two-and-a-half days of live fire training and classroom instruction on basic knowledge of aircraft systems, military aircraft, tools and safety. There is also a 16-hour class on aircraft rescue firefighting vehicles.

The aircraft rescue and firefighting Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) is a special category of firefighting that involves the response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft involved in (typically) an airport ground emergency.  program at Lake Superior has not just drawn trainees from Minnesota. Firefighters have come to the school from across the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , and sometimes even from beyond our borders. Among the countries that have sent firefighters for training at the facility are Canada, England, France, Mongolia and countries in Central and South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. .

Securing a Safe Future

Democratic Congressman James Oberstar represents Minnesota's Eighth District, which includes Duluth. He is on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was involved in the legislation for federalization of airport security screeners and universal baggage screening. Oberstar is one of those supporting legislation to incorporate existing training centers into "Homeland Security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security

executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States

Sarazin believes his facility will find a way to fit into the training plans of the legislation. "We will probably be involved in some of the training that comes from the Homeland Security issues," he says.

Sarazin noticed that his program got more attention than usual following 9-11. He sees that, after the events of that day, "Everyone is a little more aware that law enforcement and firefighting personnel get called on to try to change outcomes more than anything."

The media was interested in talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
lecture, speech

rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to
 the students in the associate of applied science in firefighting program. "They were interested in seeing if this was still what the students wanted to do in light of the events of 9-11," Sarazin explains. "Invariably in·var·i·a·ble  
Not changing or subject to change; constant.

, the students said yes. They all said that now they have even more resolve than before."

For more information about aircraft rescue training at Lake Superior College, visit or e-mail

RELATED ARTICLE: Training through simulation.

The term simulator for many people brings to mind images of video and arcade games, but these devices are being used for much more than just fun and games "Fun and Games" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 30 March, 1964, during the first season. Opening narration
. They are being used in training for the most serious of life and death situations.

Simulators recreate the experience of an actual situation through the use of sights, sounds and movement. Simulators and their related applications have been developed by different public and private organizations, but in 1982 the Institute for Simulation and Training The Insitute for Simulation and Training is an internationally recognized research institute that focuses on advancing modeling and simulation technology and increasing our understanding of simulation's role in training and education.  (IST) was established to provide better communication and a common source of supporting academic studies in the field.

IST is a research unit of the University of Central Florida “UCF” redirects here. For other uses, see UCF (disambiguation).
UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. UCF was founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University with the goal of providing highly trained personnel to support the Kennedy
 (UCF UCF University of Central Florida
UCF Uranium Conversion Facility
UCF Uniform Contract Format
UCF Unregistration Confirm
UCF Unit Capability Factor (power plant performance)
UCF User Communication Form
UCF United Cat Federation
) and is internationally recognized for its role in advancing simulation technology. For emergency medical treatment, researchers at IST developed ways to link simulators to model the occurrence and treatment of mass casualties. The combat trauma patient simulator at IST simulates casualties for treatment by combat medics using a human patient simulator. It is also used to train EMTs in civilian mass casualty exercises.

Emergency management training programs developed by IST in partnership with the U.S. Army help train crisis managers, EMTs, fire rescue personnel and hospital medical staff. IST's emergency management train the trainer program focuses on programs in managing hazardous materials spills, counter-terrorism operations, natural disasters and mass casualty incidents. According to IST, they will work with organizations to help them design and develop their own training programs.

In March, the University of Central Florida announced that it had received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fund research by members of the psychology department and the Institute for Simulation and Training to improve airport security screener training.

The UCF research team is led by research scientist Dr. Stephen Fiore, associate research scholar Dr. Florian Jentsch and associate psychology professor Dr. Clint Bowers of the psychology department's team performance laboratory, and Dr. Eduardo Salas, psychology professor and research faculty member of IST.

The $140,000 FAA grant will be used to find ways to help security screeners quickly become proficient in recognizing visual cues to dangerous items hidden in passengers' luggage. According to UCF, existing studies indicate that expert screeners may need fewer visual cues than novices to recognize patterns that lead to identification of items. The UCF team hopes that, by isolating the pattern recognition techniques used by the expert screeners, they will be able to then incorporate those techniques into the training curriculum for the new security screening personnel.

"This grant represents a unique opportunity to meld some of our current research with such an important issue," says Fiore. "We are all very excited to do our part in helping aviation security."

As program director for human systems integration research at IST, Salas studies team training, decision making under stress and performance assessment. In April, he participated in a U.S. Congressional briefing on The Human Response to Disaster. Featured speakers represented four scientific disciplines as they relate to disaster response: geography, psychology, human factors and sociology. Salas represented human factors and presented "Responding to Crises: The Science of Team Performance Under Pressure."

For more information about the University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training, visit
COPYRIGHT 2002 Association for Career and Technical Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2002
Previous Article:Protecting and serving.
Next Article:Technology.... at Ground Zero.

Related Articles
A company of heroes.
Law Enforcement's Response to Small Aircraft Accidents.
Protecting and serving.
A message from the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
School-to-business partnerships give students link to Alaska jobs: with 43,000 new jobs on the horizon, today's students need to be prepared to fill...
Defining the role of the environmental health profession in homeland security.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters