Thursday, February 04, 2010
Construction began Wednesday on a $3.71 million simulator at Florida State College at Jacksonville that will help train firefighters to combat ship blazes. The building of the “burn ship” follows the completion of the more than $1 million remodeling of Fire Academy of the South’s 13,600-square-foot classroom and administrative building in December. The school at the college’s south campus provides basic training and continuing education for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, other public entities and the private sector.The 90-foot, four-level ship will be used to train firefighters how to combat three different types of fires, including a boiler room fire, said Sheldon Reed, Fire Academy of the South executive director. Preparing for ship blazes makes sense since the Port of Jacksonville is growing and Carnival Lines’ Fascination is back in service, he said. Reed said there might be further training opportunities when the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier comes to Naval Station. The school, which has trained BP and Hess Corp. refinery workers, trains about 90 percent of Jacksonville’s firefighters annually.