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County commissioners approve public safety upgrades

Special to The Sun
Firefighters display how fire-training simulator equipment is used during drills at the county’s Emergency Services Training Center in Westampton.

Burlington County plans to use federal funding to update police and firefighter training tools and emergency management equipment.

County commissioners voted to appropriate money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to upgrade the Firearms Automated Training Simulator used to train law-enforcement officers at the county Public Safety Center and update simulating equipment used by firefighters in training at the county’s Emergency Services Training Center.

The commissioners also approved using federal funds to purchase a new command vehicle.

Firearms Automated Training Simulator

The Firearms Automated Training Simulator, also known as FATS, is a video system that was first installed at the Public Safety Center in Westampton decades ago. It provides police officers with real-life scenarios they may encounter on patrol or while conducting investigations to test their split-second reactions, decisions, and actions.

The current system is nearly a decade old and is expected to be replaced with a new virtual system that includes three wraparound screens and additional training scenarios.

Fire Academy building

The fire-training equipment at the Emergency Services Training Center in Westampton is used to simulate the smoke and fire conditions that can occur at fires in various buildings, structures and vehicles. Running drills and training with the equipment help firefighters safely learn and practice important firefighting techniques.

Command vehicle

The county Department of Public Safety will purchase a new mobile command vehicle for emergency management.

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