Local News

Over 300 Firefighters Learn Life-Saving Skills at Weekend Workshop

Posted June 11, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— More than 300 firefighters are in Johnston County this weekend, sharpening skills that could save lives, their own and others.

"I want to make sure everyone that comes in with me is everyone that comes out with me," says one firefighter.

Firefighters prepare to battle flames that are racing through a house in Johnston County. It is part of a drill that helps them train for situations they might encounter every day on the job.

"It's extremely important." says Instructor Mike Calhoun. "We are asking our firefighters to go into buildings and structures that they have never had preparation to fight."

The firefighters know that going in burning buildings they will face dense smoke and temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees.

Some of the students are young firefighters with just a few months experience. Others are veterans who know their lives depend on staying sharp.

"It helps stabilize what you need to do in your mind and what you need to do with the firefighting skills that you have," says Chris Hood of the Pinewood Fire Department.

The firefighters will practice their approach and attack skills during four days of intensive training.

Some of the firefighters are also qualifying to become instructors. They will take what they have learned home with them and teach live fire drills at departments all over the state.

The training fire drills are part of the annual North Carolina Fire College. Firefighters have been training through the college for 72 years.