8 local firefighters receive volunteer certification

Published 9:41 pm Monday, December 20, 2010

Eight local volunteer firefighters are more prepared for their positions thanks to completing a training course hosted in Jemison.

The firefighters completed a 160-hour Alabama Volunteer Fire Department course from Aug. 4 to Dec. 2 that covered the topics of introduction to firefighting, basic skills of firefighting, advanced skills, and hazardous materials awareness.

“It’s a big deal for these guys to take the course time-wise. They’re coming up here at nights, on the weekends,” Jemison Fire and Rescue Chief John Dennis said. “It makes them more knowledgeable about fire and fire behavior, they can better combat a fire, they’re more knowledgeable about what a fire is going to do next so they can better conserve property, and they’re more knowledgeable about fire safety so they can better protect themselves during a fire.”

Fourteen participants began the course, and eight completed it: David Sewell and Dustin Walker with the Jemison fire department; Tiffany Mims, Tyler Mims and Kenneth Wilson Jr. with East Chilton department; Brent Hilton with Gap of the Mountain; and Seth Fortenberry and Joseph Stough with Collins Chapel.

Jemison hosted the same course last year, and Dennis said 22 people completed it.

Those who earn certification in the course have the opportunity to become a certified full-time firefighter by completing a weeklong bridge course at the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa.

Sewell, who has been with the Jemison department four about a year, was also named the department’s Member of the Year at the annual banquet Monday evening at the Jemison Municipal Complex.