Fire Science Training Trailer
John Wood Community College has received a 2001 Innovation Award from the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators. Presented at the group's annual conference in Rockford, the award honored the college for its innovative mobile fire science lab.
The mobile lab is a 48-foot semi trailer that was renovated to create a mock two-level home, complete with flooring, walls, wiring and furniture, as well as a machine that produces smoke. The training trailer provides a realistic, simulated fire environment in which firefighters and fire science students can practice a variety of search and rescue techniques and the proper use of specialized equipment. Because the training lab is mobile, it can be taken to rural fire stations throughout the area, allowing local firefighters – both paid and volunteer -- easy access to the training lab.
The lab was introduced in the spring of 2001. It was the product of a cooperative effort that included the college's truck driver training program, local businesses, area fire departments, and national suppliers.
Students in the college's truck driver training program also use the trailer, gaining driving experience hauling it to the various training sites.
The ICCCA presents this annual award in recognition of innovative approaches to solving instructional or learning challenges. Entries were judged on the basis of the program's objectives and appropriateness to the target audience, its uniqueness, budget feasibility, evaluation, and replicability.