By RACHEL C. DOVE
WILLIAMSON - Williamson Fire Department Chief Jerry Mounts has announced the schedule of events for the Fifth Annual Mingo County Fire and Rescue School, planned to take place May 11 through May 13, at the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC) in West Williamson.
“Each year we attempt to provide the best training experience available anywhere in our region on this particular weekend, and this year is no exception,” said Mounts.
“Once again we’ve assembled very knowledgeable and highly respected instructors to provide those attending with the hands-on training and skills that firefighters, first responders and EMS personnel need in order to be an effective first line of defense during any emergency situation in their responsive communities.”
Mounts spoke of choosing the SWVCTC campus location because it not only offers excellent classroom facilities, but also adequate grounds for the practical hands-on training evolutions in the field.
“The price of $35 (per person) for the tuition is the lowest price for any regional fire school anywhere in our three-state area,” said the chief. “The cheapest price we’ve found that even comes close to ours was $60, which is still almost double what we charge.”
The price of tuition also entitles each student to a free 2012 fire school t-shirt, a continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning and a pig roast on Saturday evening.
“We had an issue with the ribs at our cookout last year; the dinner ran a little late and they didn’t turn out very well, so we’ve enlisted the help of a friend from Logan that’s going to come over and cook us a couple of hogs. Combine those with his special barbecue sauce, and I can guarantee you this dinner is going to be a huge hit,” said Mounts.
‘We’re also giving away door prizes that will be provided by area vendors during the dinner hour, and following that, we’ll have musical entertainment from D.J. Darry Paige.
“Everyone who pre-registers on-line or by mail no later than May 4 will be eligible for the grand-prize giveaway of a 32-inch HDTV,” said the chief. “We will also be holding walk-in registration Friday evening and early Saturday morning, up until time for the 8:30 a.m. orientation to begin.
“Our classes are filled on a first come – first serve basis, and we also reserve the right to cancel any class if unexpected circumstances occur.”
If you pay in advance and find the need to cancel, be aware that your tuition will not be refunded if the cancellation date is later than April 30.
Mounts remarked that this fire-school is not confined to West Virginia residents only, that anyone wishing to take the course is welcome to attend.
“Our first year, we had attendees from Sheppardstown, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Pike County, Ky., and also from Virginia,” said Mounts. “We’re hoping for a large group for this year’s school.
“We offer several courses that have CEU and LET credits, and we ask that students make a point to sign the roster and list their state certification numbers when registering.”
Classes being taught at the fifth annual fire-school will include CPR/AED training, highway safety for emergency responders, heavy rescue (large buses, heavy equipment and trucks), auto extrication awareness and operations, emergency vehicle driver training, basic structural firefighting for new recruits and junior firefighters, search and rescue for the initial responder, foam solution concentrate training, first-aid, crime scene documentation, fundamentals of rope rescue and rigging, meth lab awareness for emergency responders, mass casualty incident, high –tech vehicle training (hybrids, fuel cells and airbags) and National Incident Reporting System Database (NFIRS) training.
“If you have a teen between the age of 16 and 18 who wants to attend, they don’t have to be accompanied by an adult but we do require that a proper parental release from the parents or legal guardian be signed,” said the chief.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the fire and rescue school, please contact Chief Mounts by calling 304-235-2073, or East Fork Fire Department Chief, John Hall at 304-475-2709. You are also welcome to email Mounts at wfdchief@suddenlink mail.com and Chief Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.