(from right to left): Phyllis Tucker, Branch Manager of the Farmington Avenue branch of Thomaston Savings Bank; Captain Blaschke and Firefighter Hayes of the Bristol Fire Department; and Dawn Leger, Grants Administrator for the City of Bristol pose with “Thomas” the Smart Dummy.

The Bristol Fire Department is grateful for the grant they received from the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation to fund a “Smart Dummy” which will enhance the rigorous training that Bristol’s firefighters undergo on a continuous basis.

“Having a life-sized mannequin to work with during their drills makes the experiences so much more realistic that anything less would be unacceptable,” stated Fire Chief Jay Kolakoski.

“We cannot thank the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation enough for supporting our application to purchase this item, and we believe that the residents of Bristol as well as the surrounding towns we back-up will benefit from the enhanced training that our teams have gotten since its acquisition.”

This new Smart Dummy will be used at the Fire Department’s training facility at Engine Company 4, located at 17 Vincent P. Kelly Road in Bristol.

Firefighters are constantly doing training exercises, no matter how many years they have been in the Department. It is important to maintain skills and perhaps even learn new techniques – with a new burn facility and tools such as this Smart Dummy, even more sophisticated scenarios can be set up as training exercises.

The fact that the Smart Dummy can be programmed to shout out for help, is also a great advantage when practicing rescues as it helps to replicate real-life rescue scenarios. Additionally, Bristol occasionally trains with firefighters from other communities, many who have primarily volunteer forces, and this tool will greatly enhance their training as well.

“Training is an every day occurrence for the Fire Department,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.

“In any given moment, they must be ready to respond. We greatly appreciate the support of the business community in recognizing the value of having a highly trained paid Fire Department.”

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