LCC hosts event for area public safety organizations
Firefighters attend classes at the annual Public Safety School at LCC this past weekend. Submitted photo
It was a weekend of intensive training for many public safety personnel from throughout the region who attended the annual Public Safety School Saturday and Sunday at Lenoir Community College.
Event organizers said 143 fire and rescue and emergency medical personnel attended the weekend classes, most from Lenoir County, but with some coming from other parts of the state to attend the certification classes.
According to Southwood Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Craig Jarman, the goal was to ensure that local firefighters could have access to the classes that they need to continue to protect the citizens of this area.
Ken Rhodes, the Fire/Rescue Program Coordinator for LCC, said the weekend of classes is critical, especially for the volunteer firefighters who make up the bulk of the students.
“Volunteer firefighters work full-time jobs in addition to their firefighting duties, so it can take a long time to get [training] done a few hours at a time,” Rhodes said.
Being able to complete one or two entire classes in one weekend makes it much easier, he said.
Students at the event took classes on fire behavior, fire hoses and building construction as it relates to firefighting. One of the most well-attended classes was for emergency vehicle driving certification. There were also technical rescuer classes on helicopter transport, large vehicle rescue and a class on stabilization and extrication techniques for wrecked vehicles.
The entire event, Rhodes said, would not be possible without cooperation between LCC and the fire departments of Lenoir County.
“It’s a big joint effort,” he said, adding that fire departments loan out equipment for use during the classes, and the college provides the facilities.
Another critical part of the weekend’s importance, Rhodes said, is it gives emergency personnel the chance to work with people from other departments, practice on different equipment, and practice cooperation between departments.
“We have people that have just joined, working with people who have been doing this for years,” he said.
Planning for the annual event begins in October, according to Jarman, and the Lenoir County Public Safety School is always scheduled for the second weekend in March.