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New simulators donated

Will help train first responders

Community College of Aurora has received a driving simulator for use in its Emergency Medical Services, Police, and Fire Academies as a donation from intergovernmental partners, City and County of Denver and Denver Fire Department, helping the college further enhance its training capabilities for first responders.

“One of the biggest things you can do to put wear and tear on a vehicle is train people to drive urgently in it, so this is a really great thing to have,” said Beth Lattone, department chair for CCA’s EMS and Fire Science Technology departments.

The City and County of Denver and Denver Fire donated the driving simulator to the CCA Foundation for the benefit of the college. There no longer was space for the simulator at Denver’s joint training center. It previously was used by Denver Fire at the Rocky Mountain Fire Academy, according to the donation agreement signed by all parties.

The simulator has two driving “seats” that will connect to a big-screen TV with software designed to mimic road conditions and potential hazards. One of the seats is equipped with a normal automatic transmission and light box setup found on a police car or ambulance; the other has a diesel framework, with parking brake and battery switch regularly used on a fire rig.

“It’s just one more opportunity we can offer to our students as far as simulation,” said Renie Del Ponte, dean of Health Sciences and Public Safety. “Whenever we can create a simulation scenario, we want to try and do that. This just allows us to expand our reality-based training even further.”

The latest addition to those technological capabilities will be set up by CCA faculty in the coming months, and curriculum will be adapted to include the driving simulators for use in classrooms by the fall semester. 

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