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State Fire Academy Hosts 29th Annual Training Event

Firefighters are invited to attend the 29th Annual Southeastern Fire School, March 12-13, 2011, at the South Carolina Fire Academy.

The weekend fire school, which is the largest training event conducted by the Fire Academy each year, will feature 15 training courses. Fire and emergency equipment vendors will also display fire trucks, tools and equipment.

“We have a great weekend of training planned for the firefighters, both paid and volunteer and some industrial fire brigade personnel,” Fire Academy Superintendent Ed Roper said. “We have excellent programs for company officers, chief officers, fire marshals and arson investigators as well.”

In addition, South Carolina’s newly appointed State Fire Marshal, Adolf Zubia, will be in attendance.

“It will be a great time for our firefighters to meet him,” Roper said.

Retired Fire Chief Richard Gasaway, resident faculty member at the National Fire Academy and an instructor at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, will be the keynote speaker for the training event. With 30 years in the fire service, Gasaway will also teach “50 Ways to Kill a Firefighter,” a course focused on reducing the number of emergency responder deaths.  

“Chief Gasaway’s course is designed to teach firefighters and all officers how to make decisions during stressful and rapidly changing environments,” Roper said.

Fire Academy staff, part-time adjunct instructors and special instructors from around the country will provide training courses. Other courses being taught during the two-day event include: Flammable Liquids and Gases; Decision Making for Initial Company Operations; Municipal Approach to ARFF; Introduction to Trench Rescue; Surviving the Mayday; Advance Auto Extrication; Company Officers Challenge; Basic Wildland Search and Rescue Operations; Large Area Search and Air Management; Federal OSHA 10-hour course for Emergency Responders; Advanced Hazardous Materials Technician; Commercial Kitchen Systems and Fire Extinguishers; Arson Detection for the Company Officer; and Strategies and Tactics for Forest Fires in South Carolina.

“Each year new and different training courses are offered,” Roper said. “This year there will be a lot of hands on training that will use many of our special live fire training props including our burn buildings, flammable liquids and gas burn props, the five-story smoke tower, trench rescue prop, arson burn pods, the large area search and rescue building and the 737 aircraft mockup props.”

The South Carolina Fire Academy, located in Columbia, is the premier fire-training academy in the United States today. The Fire Academy provides emergency services training to the municipal fire service, both paid and volunteers, airport crash rescue departments, industrial fire brigades and emergency teams from around the state and the world. The Fire Academy is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).

The Fire Academy and the Fire Marshal’s office make up the Division of Fire and Life Safety, which is a division of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

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