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Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta joined Denis Leary, FDNY Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano and the FDNY Foundation for the dedication of the FDNY’s new High-Rise Simulator on March 19, 2009. Equipped with mock residential, office and commercial floor layouts, the state-of-the-art simulator is designed to produce real-life fire and building conditions and help firefighters improve their skills in combating the difficulties of fighting fires in high-rise buildings and performing rescues under extreme conditions.

The 4,000-square-foot structure, located at the FDNY Fire Academy on Randall’s Island, features a variety of real-life functions, including a fire and flashover simulator, a central smoke system, a dry standpipe system, mock elevators and stairways, video hookups on each floor for review and a simulated fire command station. High-rise buildings retain heat and gases that can quickly spread and create hazardous conditions for firefighters, and the simulator helps recreate these scenarios, improving each member’s ability to predict the movement of a fire. The practical skills learned through exercises in the simulator build firefighters’ knowledge and serve as an important tool in addressing the safety of both civilians and rescue personnel.

“In a city with thousands of high-rise buildings, this is an incredibly important training tool for our members,” Commissioner Scoppetta said. “FDNY has long been at the cutting edge of firefighter training and technology and this simulator is proof of our commitment to offering New York City the very best in fire protection. We couldn’t have done it, of course, without the very generous support of The Leary Firefighters Foundation as well as the FDNY Foundation. Denis is a great friend of FDNY and we’re honored to be with him and all the others who made this a reality today.”

“We are so proud to open the new high-rise simulator and to be a part of the FDNY’s goal to have the best training for fire departments across the country,” said Denis Leary, President, The Leary Firefighters Foundation. “This facility could not have been possible without the generous support of the FDNY Foundation, Newmark Knight Frank Chairman, Jeffrey Gural, The William E. Weiss Foundation, The Real Estate Board of New York and the hard work and creative vision of the recently departed Lys Hopper.”
“The FDNY Foundation is thrilled to be a part of this great project,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “This demonstrates all of our commitment to finding new ways to keep the people of New York safe. We’re very pleased to be a part of the great team that turned this dream into reality.”
The simulator will be an important part of the FDNY’s training program for firefighters. Since 2004, more than $60 million has been dedicated to upgrading the facilities at the Fire Academy. The simulator was funded through a public-private partnership by The Leary Firefighters Foundation and the non-profit FDNY Foundation.

Since its inception in 2000, The Leary Firefighters Foundation has worked to provide fire departments with funding and resources for the best available equipment and training. To date, The Foundation has created partnerships and raised more than $10 million dollars for initiatives critical to firefighter and public safety, including: the restoration of New Orleans firehouses devastated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; the Worcester Burn Tower, Training Facility and Emergency Operations Center which serves fire departments throughout Central Massachusetts; a Tactical Command Vehicle and high-speed rescue boat for the Boston Fire Department; the FDNY’s first-ever state-of-the-art Mobile Command Unit and Flashover Simulators for the FDNY and Boston Training Academies.