Imagine facing a wall of flames three stories high with just the spray from a fire hose. It takes courage and training to safely fight fires. Monday night, firefighters from Northside, Ellerbe, Mt. Creek, and Cordova Fire Departments participated in a LP Gas Emergencies course offered by Richmond Community College, to learn how to approach and extinguish this type of fire. The course was free to active volunteers.
David Laviner, with Advanced Emergency Services Training of Laurinburg, was the instructor and walked between two lines of firefighters as they advanced toward the flames. He coached them on what to expect from this type of gas, how to approach the fire, how to set the nozzles, and how to shut off the valves.
“LP gas fires are not every day occurrences, but they do happen often enough that firefighters need training regarding them, whether it is for a commercial or residential tank or for a tanker truck. Students learn where the shut-off valves are and the attack strategies for how to reach them,” said Laviner.
Matthew Calloway has been with Northside Volunteer Fire Department for four years and has taken several courses from RCC.
“It helps to learn a lot more about something so you won’t get hurt when it actually happens,” said Calloway.
Matt Caulder has been with Northside for two years.
“I just joined one day and love it. I like that RCC offers the training here so I don’t have to go out of town for it. The instructors have always been good. You need these classes to be able to handle situations, and everybody can get trained at the same time,” said Caulder.
Workforce and Economic Development Director Chip Osborne sets up classes, which are usually hosted by a department, but are open to firefighters throughout RCC’s service area. He said this was an introductory course, which provided volunteers the opportunity to see where they are in the training process and assess their skills.