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Rep. Ron Kind tours WITC-New Richmond

Among the venues on Rep. Ron Kind's March 28 visit to WITC-New Richmond was a tour of the college's latest in technology: a live fire burn simulator, a computer-controlled tractor and the power equipment lab.

WITC Fire Training Coordinator Jack Running, left, demonstrates to Rep. Ron Kind the live fire training unit. Using a remote control, Running filled the room with smoke and built a growing fire with flashover. He extinguished the demo with the touch of a button. Instructors can simulate a variety of fire and rescue situations to train firefighters in close to real-life conditions.Kind watched carefully as the smoke gradually filled the burn simulator and flames grew at the opposite end of the trailer then burst across the ceiling. All in the group were safe as the entire demonstration was controlled by Fire Training Coordinator Jack Running and the remote controls.

"We can simulate a variety of fire conditions in this vehicle," Running says, "Including second-story rescues, flashovers, search and rescue and all with varying degrees of flame and smoke. It's an excellent training tool that gives firefighters an experience as close to real life as you can get. The instructor can shut everything down in an instant, if necessary."Rep. Ron Kind, left, visited with Mitch Booth, center, and Geremy Friel who are students in the Motorcycle, Marine and Outdoor Power Products program at WITC-New Richmond.


In the Agriculture Power and Equipment lab, Kind climbed into the cab of a tractor to view the computer diagnostics a student was using, and he visited WITC's Motorcycle, Marine and Outdoor Power Products lab and talked with students Jeremy Friel and Mitch Booth.

Kind also met with Student Senate Association representatives and other students in the Learning Resource Center before leaving for his next appointment. Kind fielded questions about college financing and the financial support needed for workers caught in an industry's downsizing.