By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - The 7th Annual Mingo County Fire and Rescue School is set to kick off in a little more than two weeks, and those responsible for its success are geared up and ready to go.
“One important and rather significant change affecting this year’s event is the date change to June 6 through the 8,” said Mingo County Fire Chief’s Association President Jerry Mounts.
“Immediately after the 2013 school, West Virginia University Fire Extension Service staff and the MCFCA met and conducted a post-incident analysis meeting and it was decided to change the date to the first full weekend in June,” Mounts said.
As always, the intended purpose of the weekend training event is to provide emergency responders from the fire service, EMS, and law enforcement with the best learning experience available on this particular weekend, and this year’s event promises to live up to that billing.
The WVU Fire Extension Service is conducting a two-day live fire burn class which will also incorporate ladder, ventilation and standpipe evolutions utilizing the Kidde ML-1000 two-story Mobile Fire Training Unit.
With sights, sounds, and flames, the Mobile Fire Training Unit brings cutting-edge live-fire training experiences to the volunteer and career firefighter. Firefighters entering the unit are challenged with smoke, flames, sights, sounds and obstacles they typically encounter in commercial and residential structural fires.
The system is controlled from an observation room by a lead instructor who can shut down the operations and ventilate the unit’s interior within 45 to 60 seconds. Environmentally sound, the Mobile Fire Training Unit is fueled by clean-burning propane and generates benign smoke that does not disturb the community. This partucular class will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8.
New this year are the Night Time Auto Extrication class, Incident Safety Officer, Recognizing and Preserving Fire Scene Evidence, TIMS-compliant Highway Safety For First Responders, Haz Mat Decon, and Intensive Firefighter Survival. Other classes rounding out the weekend include The Art of Reading Smoke, EVOC, NFIRS, The First 5 Minutes, CPR/ First Aid Recert, and Basic Auto Extrication.
For the law enforcement officer, Active Shooter For Supervisors classes will be offered.
Also on tap for Friday evening, June 6, is the Firefighter Endurance Challenge. It is designed as a friendly, but spirited competition to find out who is the most physically fit firefighter, as well as team of firefighters in the region. Dressed in full gear, contestants will be in an all-out race against the clock to see who can complete the seven-station battlefield of exercises. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to first place and runnerup in both the individual and team competition. First-place winner will receive $250, runnerup will take home $125.
“We strongly encourage firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMS personnel in our region to take advantage of this great weekend training opportunity as we come together to sharpen our skills and learn new techniques that will help all of us to remain proficient in our job as our respective communities’ first line of defense during any emergency situation,” Mounts said.
Although most classes appear to be geared toward fire, EMS and police personnel only, the school is open to all individuals regardless of any affiliation with an emergency-response agency or prior experience, providing they meet any prerequisites that may be required. Individuals seeking to renew CPR certification will want to attend the Friday evening class.
All classes, including the Firefighter Challenge and dinner will be conducted on the campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, which affords excellent classroom facilities as well as more than adequate grounds for all the practical hands-on training evolutions in the field.
According to Mounts, the Fire Chief’s Association has worked very hard at keeping the cost of student tuition at ($50) at a minimum, which would not be possible without the generous support of the Mingo County Commission and Mingo County Prosecutor’s Office. Tuition affords the student certification-level training in multiple classes, a souvenir 2014 fire school T-shirt, and a ticket to the all-you-can-eat Saturday evening dinner and door prize giveaway as well. Fire equipment vendors will be on-site Saturday with a variety of displays and items for sale.
The Fire and Rescue School is a production of the Mingo County Fire Chief’s Association in conjunction with WVU Fire Extension Service, RESA 3, West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Mingo County Commission, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and the city of Williamson.
For further information and pre-registration, go to facebook.com/mingofire or contact Lee Murphy at LMurphy.firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the following members: Jerry Mounts at 304-235-2073 or 304-784-4411, email@example.com, or John Hall at 304-475-2709 or 304-784-2032, firstname.lastname@example.org.