Carriere Volunteer Fire Department offers weekly training

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Each week, the Carriere Volunteer firefighter station holds a training session for any volunteer firefighter in Pearl River County to ensure their crews are ready to respond to any emergency.

The training sessions take place every Tuesday from 7 p.m. until about 9 p.m., Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Captain Andrew Copeland said.

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Currently, about 12 to 15 volunteer firefighters attend the training sessions. During the two-hour session, volunteers either sit in the classroom and complete bookwork or they participate in hands-on training.

“The trainers do everything possible to make every situation as realistic as possible so our firefighters will know what to do when they are out helping in real-life emergencies,” Copeland said.

One of the training exercises is called “interior rescue,” which is when a firefighter dresses in their full turnout gear and a blacked out mask so they can’t see. Then, the firefighter enters a pitch black building in order to rescue the person inside. The firefighter finds their way out by following the fire hose they brought into the building.

During the training session, volunteers also learn about every tool and appliance located in the fire truck and its function.

Copeland said the training sessions are free to any volunteer firefighter.

The Carriere Volunteer Fire Department also holds a cadet program, which focuses on training people younger than 18 the ins and outs about being a firefighter.

“We don’t put them in any dangerous situation, they’re not allowed to be with us after 9 p.m. and we have to have their parents permission for them to be out here with us,” Copeland said. “It’s a great program for anyone interested in being a first responder.”

The Carriere Volunteer Fire Department and other volunteer fire stations across Pearl River County are always looking for new volunteers. A starting volunteer firefighter typically holds a full-time job on the side, but by receiving the proper training that person could eventually land a full-time firefighter position at a municipal department in Pearl River County or somewhere else, Copeland said.

The Carriere Volunteer Fire Department responds to about 1,200 calls per year that range from house fires, medical calls or equipment inspections.

“All the Pearl River County volunteer fire departments do an amazing job and we appreciate the support we receive from the community and the Board of Supervisors, because without them, our job would be more difficult,” Copeland said.