Virtual reality makes it easier and safer to learn how to put out fires // WJFW TV-12, WJFWDT 12.1 and Newswatch 12

MERRILL – The Merrill Fire Department has a new high-tech fire extinguisher training device.

It allows users to put out a fire without using an actual fire.

Firefighter Bryson Cruise says this is much easier and safer because the old device could only be taught with a real fire outside.

“The screen is reactive to the laser inside the extinguisher and it simulates the fire with both light and sound,” explained Cruise.

The device was a gift from three of Merrill’s largest businesses, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Weinbrenner Shoe Company and Park City Credit Union.

As part of its Public Education Division, the Merrill Fire Department offers fire extinguisher training to businesses.

Weinbrener Shoe Company President Patrick Miner says he’s more than thrilled to have his employees learn how to put out a fire in a safe way.

“It’s important that we have our employees well trained and that they’re updated on all the technology on how to use fire extinguishers,” said Miner.
The new device cost about $17,000.

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