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Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer joined fire department officials Monday in presenting a new piece of fire equipment.
The Mobile Prevention Experience Unit is a 40-foot trailer that will have fire prevention demonstrations. It will make appearances at schools and special events across the city. The unit made its first appearance at Ortiz Elementary School, where students were able to participate in a fire escape demonstration.
Brewer said the city has had 29 fire deaths over the past five years, and in 2011, home fires claimed the lives of six senior citizens and one child. He said the Wichita Fire Department will use the new unit to focus on fire prevention and education.
The unit will use artificial smoke to simulate fire escape situations, and it also has a room to demonstrate how a sprinkler system can quickly put out a fire. There is a function for demonstrating severe weather safety.
The announcement was made to kick off Fire Prevention Week activities in Wichita. The Mobile Prevention Experience will be at the Sedgwick County Zoo on Tuesday for an event aimed at fifth grade students.
The $90,000 trailer was purchased and equipped with grant funding and private donations.