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For immediate release: April 28, 2015

Apollo Career Center, BWC demonstrate innovative first responder training tool

LIMA - Lima's Apollo Career Center today demonstrated a unique tool it purchased with a grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) that will better equip area fire departments and first responder trainees to respond to vehicle fires and extrication when victims are trapped following an accident. BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer was joined by Crystal Plumpe, Apollo's Public Safety Manager, and representatives from Shawnee and Lafayette Jackson Fire Departments for the live demonstration of the school's new American Fire Training Systems Class "A" Burn Vehicle Extrication Prop.

"I'm impressed with the great job Ohio employers do of identifying new and innovative tools to keep their workers safe on the job incorporating them into their workplaces," said Buehrer. "Kudos to Apollo Career Center for not only offering the latest in first responder training that emulates real life situations, but also for making the safety of their staff and trainees a priority."

The Apollo Career Center's Public Safety Program serves a 14 county area and 72 public safety departments, with nearly 100 firefighters and 130 EMS providers receiving training annually. The vehicle, which was funded through a $40,000 Safety Intervention Grant from BWC, can be set on fire and has replaceable sections that can be cut and bent to allow rescue personnel to train on vehicle extrication and fire extinguishing.

In order to deliver training on vehicle fires and extrication, the school currently must obtain scrap vehicles and prepare them for training. The vehicles are made with a number of hazardous materials, including objects that can explode such as shocks and airbags and metals that react violently to water. Disposing of the vehicles after training takes additional work that can also present risks, including using a forklift to load vehicles onto a trailer for removal. The vehicle is expected to minimize these dangers to public safety instructors and maintenance staff who prepare scrap vehicles for training.

The grant also aided in the installation of a 40'x40' concrete pad to allow for burning as temperatures can exceed 1,000 degrees. A heating element adds the ability to use the vehicle for training in the winter without water freezing and creating a slip and fall hazard.

BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. Ohio private and public employers are eligible for the grants, which include a 3-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000. BWC increased its commitment to workplace safety by up to $35 million over the next two years as part of its Another Billion Back plan, which also included $1 billion in rebates.

Learn more about the Safety Intervention Grant Program and view the stories of previous grant recipients at bwc.ohio.gov or BWC's YouTube channel. To learn more about the many safety-focused services BWC offers Ohio employers, visit the safety section of bwc.ohio.gov.

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