U.S. Municipal And Rural Firefighters To Be Trained For Terrorist Response Through $2.5 Million Federal Grant

Reno, NV - The University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy has received a U.S. Department of Energy grant to train more than 700 municipal and rural firefighters annually in industrial firefighting techniques used to fight incidents often associated with terrorist threats. The live-fire training course will be funded by the $2.5 million federal grant, which provides full scholarships to cover tuition, travel, lodging and meals for U.S. firefighters to attend the four-day course at the Fire Science Academy (FSA) in Carlin, NV.

The U.S. Department of Energy funding was secured in part by Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "Our firefighters and emergency responders put their lives on the line to protect our communities," Reid said. "We owe it to them to make sure they have the training and equipment they need."

The training course, "Responding to Terrorist Incidents in Your Community: Flammable-Liquid Fire Fighting Techniques for Municipal and Rural Firefighters," will be offered throughout the year at the academy beginning in September 2004. Training is by application only and open to all U.S. firefighters 18 years and older with NFPA 1001, Firefighter Level I or equivalent and two years of practical experience. Space is limited and early application is encouraged.

Developed to provide classroom instruction and intense live-fire exercises on a fire-suppression team, the 32-hour course will include training for response to terrorist behavior, sabotage and damage to "soft targets," including truck and rail terminals, pipeline transfer stations and other industrial facilities found in municipal and rural communities.

"Firefighting in such industrial situations often involves large quantities of flammable or combustible liquids and can be very different from incidents normally encountered by the municipal and rural firefighters often responsible for protecting these highly vulnerable locations," said Denise Baclawski, executive director of the Fire Science Academy. "We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this critical training to so many firefighters from around the country."

The University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy has trained firefighters and emergency personnel from businesses and government agencies from all 50 states and nearly 40 countries. As one of the finest emergency response-training programs and facilities in the world, the FSA's 426-acre campus in Carlin, NV, provides scheduled courses as well as customized training. The academy includes multimedia classrooms and state-of-the-art training grounds and props for industrial fire fighting, hazardous materials, aircraft, structural, mine rescue and extrication exercises. Burnable props utilize liquid petroleum fuels in real-life situations.

For more information about how to apply for a U.S. Department of Energy/FSA training scholarship, visit http://www.fireacademy.unr.edu, email: fireacademy@unr.edu, or call (775) 754-6003.

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