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With the piercing sound of a smoke alarm filling the room, Alli Wilson rolls out of bed and crawls to the door. Using the back of her hand, she feels the door for heat. It's warm. That means fire is likely on the other side of that door. Opening it could be dangerous.
Thank goodness, though, the fire isn't real. The exercise is just a part of Campbellsville Fire Department's fire prevention program.
The room isn't Alli's, but a part of the fire department's new safety training trailer. Purchased this past summer with a $57,000 Homeland Security grant, the trailer is able to mimic house fires by heating doors and producing fake smoke. For weather safety training, the trailer will rumble as if an earthquake or strong storm is occurring.
"You will feel like you are really in the middle of a storm," said Campbellsville Fire Assistant Chief Bill Hall.
When not in use for education and training exercises, Hall, said, the trailer can serve as an emergency command post. Powered by a generator, the trailer is equipped with communications equipment, restroom facilities and a kitchen. The trailer creates a new dimension to the fire department's annual fire prevention programs, Hall said, by adding hands-on activities. In addition to feeling doors for heat and stuffing towels under doors to prevent smoke from entering a room, students will learn to stop, drop and roll, test smoke detectors, use fire extinguishers and more.
The fire department will visit all local schools during the three-week program.
The trailer, which seats about 35, is also wired with cameras and monitors so that larger groups can watch the exercises from outside.