Class offering training for area volunteer firefighters
by Rachel Davis
Oct 15, 2012 | 1938 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the Firefighter 160, sponsored by Sumiton Fire and Rescue, work to put out a controlled burn last week. Below, members of the class listen to an instructor inside a Bevill State-Sumiton classroom. Photo by: Rachel Davis
Members of the Firefighter 160, sponsored by Sumiton Fire and Rescue, work to put out a controlled burn last week. Below, members of the class listen to an instructor inside a Bevill State-Sumiton classroom. Photo by: Rachel Davis
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SUMITON — Sumiton Fire and Rescue is conducting its first Firefighter Minimum Standards class at Bevill State Community College’s Sumiton campus. The class, also called Firefighter 160 for the hours of training that it constitutes, teaches volunteer firefighters what they need to know to respond to emergency calls they would encounter in the department.

Previously, firefighters had to go to the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa to receive the training, or an instructor had to be brought in from outside. Earlier this year, Sumiton sent some veteran firefighters to become certified as instructors to eliminate that need.

“We have 10 members that are trained to teach,” Sumiton Fire Chief David Waid said.

Although Sumiton is using the class to train members of its department, firefighters from Dora, Yerkwood and Bagley are also attending the classes.

The classes consist of four blocks. The first block teaches fire behavior, rescue and extrication, forcible entry and choosing and using different methods to extinguish a fire. It also teaches the firefighters to use their personal protective equipment, including the self-contained breathing apparatus that supplies oxygen during a fire.

“A SCBA is to a firefighter what a weapon is to someone in the military,” Waid said.

The second block teaches the students about the equipment used, such as ladders, hoses and sprinkler and alarm systems. The third block teaches about being a medical first responder and the fourth deals with hazardous materials.

The first and second will conclude in December and the third and fourth will wrap up early next year.

“Then they’ll take the final test and hopefully they will all graduate,” Waid said. “We really appreciate Bevill State for letting us use their campus for the class.”