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../Morning Post
Posted November 3, 2011



Kitchener Waterloo – On October 26th, 2011, Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty presented the Kitchener and Waterloo Fire Departments with new teaching equipment giving them the ability to conduct realistic fire safety lessons using LED-driven digital flames, electronic sensors, laser extinguishers and simulated smoke.

From left to right: Kitchener Fire Chief Tim Beckett; Peter Benninger, President / Broker of Record- Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty; Waterloo Fire Chief Lyle Quan

Funded by the 8th Edition of the Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty Street Map and Service Guide, the high tech props have been installed in the refurbished Fire Safety Education Van. The van was originally donated in 1995 with proceeds from the 2nd Edition Map. The new props allow Fire Prevention officers to simulate a full scale kitchen emergency and an industrial/workplace electrical fire. Using a laser training extinguisher, trainees learn how to effectively douse digital flames that extinguish, grow or rekindle in response to the trainee’s actions, putting the fire out only when proper extinguisher technique is used. A working smoke detector and interactive 911 telephone prop complete the realistic scenario.

The interactive Fire Safety Van’s effectiveness stems from its capacity to incorporate comprehensive prevention and response training by including multiple elements: environmental assessment, decision making, action, and reaction.

“In an emergency panic can take over making it difficult to assess the situation, remember instructions and make the right choices,” said Peter Benninger, President and Broker of Record for Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty. “Studies show that practical, interactive training is extremely effective at helping a person remember what to do in the moment.”

This hands-on teaching concept is the basis for the many tools that the Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty Fire Safety Program has funded over the years. The Fire Safety House, introduced in 1993 and replaced with an enhanced, modernized version in 2009, is an integral component of the local Fire Safety Program educating more than 110,000 students at schools and other locations throughout Kitchener Waterloo since 1993. By Grade 3, the majority of students in the local boards have experienced training in the Fire Safety House.

“When I came to the Kitchener Waterloo area I was really impressed by the partnerships that had been nurtured in this area, in particular with Peter Benninger and the other sponsors of this program,” said Waterloo’s Fire Chief Lyle Quan at the event.

Other teaching tools donated at past launches include the Kitchen Fire Simulator, a mobile stage that allows the Fire Departments to give live demonstrations on preventing/extinguishing cooking fires, two Portable Fire Extinguisher Training Units and two Training Vehicles.

Helping make this year’s contribution possible were co-sponsors the Waterloo Region Record and Eastforest Homes as well as supporting sponsor Orchard Design, along with almost 70 local businesses advertising on the 8th Edition Street Map.

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