Philadelphia Fire Department Unveils Driver Training Simulator Lab Earns Federal Recognition as Example to Other Departments

Ann Arbor, Michigan – 21 June 2010 – The Philadelphia Fire Department hosted an open house of its new driving simulator lab, and four FAAC emergency response simulators were the guests of honor.

FAAC Incorporated recently delivered three ER-1500 and one PS-1500 driver trainer simulators at the Philadelphia Fire Department training academy to assist the department in creating a powerful driver training program.

The open house brought in dignitaries and elected officials from the state of Pennsylvania, along with a fire service official from President Barack Obama’s staff.

U.S. Fire Administrator Kelvin Cochran told the audience that the driver training simulator lab will result in a safer, more cautious apparatus driver that will retain the desire to arrive on scene and make a difference, but realize he or she has to arrive safely in order to make lend assistance.

“This driver simulation training will temper that spirit of competition down to a level of safety and precaution, where we will still get there fast enough to make a difference but the firefighters will be blessed enough to get back to the fire station and go back to their families at the end of their shift,” Cochran said. “For the predictable contributors to line of duty death and debilitating injuries associated with emergency response this driver simulation training will have a major impact on reducing those numbers throughout the region served by the Philadelphia Fire dept, giving our firefighters an opportunity, in the driving simulation lab, to help improve tactics and provide actual training in real-life experiences.”

Cochran lauded the commitment to driver training that Philadelphia Fire Department officials showed in their determination to purchase the powerful simulator training system.

“Your example today, in your public safety leadership should resonate across the country and change the emergency response culture of our profession,” he said.

In addition to Cochran, Philadelphia Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and Congressman Patrick Murphy attended the open house and each took a turn driving simulation reconstructions of actual collisions that occurred in the area.

It is important for elected leaders and those who control federal grant funding to see the power and importance of driver training simulators, said Philadelphia Fire Department Battalion Chief Henry Costo.

Costo, who spearheaded the department’s effort to bring the driver simulators into the training academy, said the event showcased how federal grant funding can lead to real improvements in safety on the road.

“In a perfect world we would be able to take people out on the street and drive large vehicles every day and train, but we don’t live in a perfect world,” he said. “That being the case there is a benefit to having them behind the wheel (of the simulator), so to speak, because you are teaching them the same principles, whether it be intersection clearance, scanning, or any defensive driving principle.

“The simulator offers an opportunity to get drivers to re-focus on safe driving principles and I’ve always felt that way and I think the statistics will bear that out. I don’t think our experience will be any different.”

Costo said he plans to create a pilot program for the driver training simulator lab and continue to get his instructor group acclimated to using the simulator as an instructional tool.

FAAC officials were on hand to support the open house and continue to support the fire service.

“Really, our presence here is a part of our Customer for Life philosophy,” said Director of Commercial Business Development David Bouwkamp. “Most of our relationships with our customers are after the sale, and this open house is an important milestone for the Philadelphia Fire Department. We wanted to be here to support their driver training initiative and to help in any way we can.”

About Arotech’s Training and Simulation Division

Arotech’s Training and Simulation Division (ATSD) provides world-class simulation based training solutions.  ATSD develops, manufactures, and markets advanced high-tech multimedia and interactive digital solutions for engineering, use-of-force, and driver training simulations for military, law enforcement, security, municipal and private industry personnel. The division’s fully interactive driver-training systems feature state-of-the-art vehicle simulator technology enabling training in situation awareness, risk analysis and decision-making, emergency reaction and avoidance procedures, and conscientious equipment operation. The division’s use-of-force training products and services allow organizations to train their personnel in safe, productive, and realistic environments. The division provides consulting and developmental support for engineering simulation solutions. The division also supplies pilot decision-making support software for the F-15, F-16, F-18, and JSF aircraft, as well as simulation models for the ACMI/TACTS air combat training ranges.

Arotech’s Training and Simulation Division consists of FAAC Incorporated (faac.wpengine.com), IES Interactive Training (www.ies-usa.com), and Realtime Technologies, Inc. (www.simcreator.com).

About Arotech Corporation
Arotech Corporation is a leading provider of quality defense and security products for the military, law enforcement and homeland security markets, including multimedia interactive simulators/trainers, lightweight armoring and advanced zinc-air and lithium batteries and chargers. Arotech operates through three major business divisions: Training and Simulation, Armor, and Battery and Power Systems.

Arotech is incorporated in Delaware, with corporate offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and research, development and production subsidiaries in Alabama, Michigan, and Israel. For more information on Arotech, please visit Arotech’s website at www.arotech.com.


For more information on FAAC Incorporated and military products, please contact Todd Glenn at 1.352.343.6606 (todd.glenn@faac.com), or visit FAAC’s website at faac.wpengine.com.

For more information on Arotech or investor and public relations, please contact Victor Allgeier, TTC Group, 1.646.290.6400, vic@ttcominc.com

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