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Fire Science Students Train with MOBAT Unit

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 11/28/2023

Iowa Central Fire Science students recently had the opportunity to experience various firefighting scenarios using a simulator from the State Fire Marshall’s Fire Service Training Bureau.

Prepared for attack in full firefighter gear, the students worked through various situations they might find themselves facing on a real-life fire scene in the State Mobile Breathing Apparatus Training Unit (MOBAT).

The training unit is a 53-foot semitrailer with interchangeable walls, floors, ceilings and various obstructions meant to pose challenges to firefighters.

“It is basically a 53-foot, three story changeable maze,” said Lenny Sanders, Fire Science Program coordinator at Iowa Central. “There is a control room at the front where we can add smoke, different sounds, or strobe lights to teach disorienting situations.”

The students spent three days in November learning in the trailer, which was also used for training by the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

The MOBAT is just one of several hands-on training experiences Iowa Central Fire Science students have throughout the year. Sanders said he works closely with the Training Bureau to bring the most real-life and professional training equipment to Fort Dodge.

 “I’ve been teaching with the Bureau since 2000,” said Sanders. “We bring in the same equipment used by the professionals for our students’ training. We have our training tower to use, but we like to also bring in interior attack simulators where flames roll over their heads, confined space rescue simulators and roof trainers.”

Iowa Central students put in approximately 240 man hours in the training simulations.

For more information on the Iowa Central Fire Science Program visit

Fire Science Students Train with MOBAT Unit

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