MILLBURN, NJ - As in previous years, the Millburn Fire Department continues to accept donations of old cars as well as houses to be used for firefighter training exercises.

The Fire Department uses donated cars to practice vehicle extrication, the process of rescuing a victim who is trapped inside a badly damaged vehicle. According the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities continue to rise nationwide - which highlights the need for emergency responders to be as well-equipped as possible. Using real cars allows firefighters to practice different techniques, and to learn how their life-saving cutting and spreading equipment (such as the "Jaws of Life" hydraulic rescue tool) behaves in real-world situations.

The Department also uses old houses for training. An ideal donation is a house that is scheduled for removal by property owner or real-estate developer. The property still belongs to the owner, and after the training has been completed, the structure can be demolished as originally planned. During training exercises, the Fire Department fills the home with theatrical smoke to practice searching for a victim or lost firefighter. The Department also uses these  structures to practice identifying where to open holes in ceilings and walls to search for hidden fire, and cutting holes in roofs to vent smoke. Firefighters also use these properties to practice survival techniques, such as how to rescue a firefighter who has become trapped inside.

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"We are committed to ensuring the safety not only of our Township residents, but also the dedicated firefighters who serve them," said Captain Adam Brenner, who oversees the Millburn Fire Department's training programs. "For this reason, we constantly train our firefighters on the latest safety and rescue techniques available. These types of donations can make a very real difference in helping us save lives."

Those interested in making a donation can contact Captain Brenner, at (973) 564-7044 or abrenner@millburntwp.org.