New Guardian Collapsed Building Simulator at FDIC International

Those interested in seeing the industry’s most advanced mobile collapsed-building simulator in action will have the opportunity to do so during the 2015 FDIC International Expo (Fire Department Instructors Conference), April 23 – 25, in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Last year’s event drew nearly 32,000 attendees from over 54 countries. Designed and manufactured by Personal Protection Equipment Specialists (PPES), the new unit is the culmination of a 50-point improvement program designed to enhance the real-life rescue experience in a three-story structure where the third floor has collapsed onto the second floor and the second floor has pancaked onto the ground floor. The measures also make the Guardian more responsive to the needs of both trainers and organizations.

While challenging first responders to master the necessary skills required to rescue a victim from a collapsed building, the thoroughly redesigned command center allows for continuous monitoring and recording of the training with the addition of a bank of video cameras inside and out as well as additional infrared cameras in the pitch-black interior.

Other advancements include better smoke disbursement throughout the unit and an expanded audio effects system that fills the simulator not only with the disturbing sounds rescuers will hear within a collapsed building, but also outside distractions that are common at a disaster scene. Specially designed LED escape lighting and additional egress and ingress doors are among the other improvements. Sewer-line rescue, window repelling, leaking tanker car and gas-line training are some of the other props offered.

Aware that private and public organizations have different needs for first responder training, PPES has expanded the line of the Guardian Safety and Survival Training Simulator to include four models, each incorporating significantly more flexibility into the design.

All Guardian simulators are fabricated in the company’s new manufacturing facility in Atglen, Pennsylvania. “These four models make it simpler to provide the on-going disaster training tailored to an organization’s specific needs,” says Tom Quinn, the developer of the Guardian and President of PPES. “For example, the Chief model was designed specifically for USAR training while the Captain was designed to replicate the cramped conditions found in older city buildings.” For those with different requirements, full customization is also available.

The new models include:

The Firefighter (22’ x 8’) – Provides comprehensive basic training replicating a collapsed three-story building cluttered with debris where one floor has pancaked atop another.


The Lieutenant  (30’ x 8’) – Augments the basic package with the unstable building/earthquake after-shocks simulator, the concrete wall breach kit, removable stairs and the breakaway floor section.


The Captain  (22’ x 8’) – Designed to meet New York State specifications and replicates the cramped conditions of older city buildings.  Includes the portable command center, leaking chlorine cylinder training unit, unstable building/earthquake after-shocks simulator, concrete wall breaching kit and breakaway floor.

The Chief  (30’ x 8’) – Designed specifically for USAR training.  Includes all options and training kits currently available, including the external command center, window rescue roof kit, sewer line rescue kit in addition to the leaking chlorine cylinder training unit, unstable building/earthquake after-shocks simulator, concrete and drywall breaching kit and the railroad car training dome.

In conjunction with the Guardian Safety and Survival Training System Simulator, PPES has expanded its program of disaster preparedness training to handle the specific needs of private industry and the public sector. Combining classroom work with confined-space training and overseen by three Chief Instructors, each program provides confined space training that meets NFPA standards.

From April 23 to the 25 at the FDIC International Expo, Chief Instructors from PPES will be demonstrating the capabilities of the Guardian. The unit will also be available for inspection and crawl-throughs. PPES and the Guardian will be located at Booth 15107, next to the Scott Firefighter Challenge.

Founded in 1996, PPES specializes in meeting the training needs of the fire industry, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) as well as disaster training for corporate and public organizations worldwide. More information is available on the PPES website (

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