More than 100 hardy souls braved the cold and snow to attend the annual Fontanna Fire and Rescue College held February 19-22 at Fontana Village Resort in Graham County.
The week-end of classes drew firefighters and rescue personnel from Graham, Clay and Cherokee counties, as well as other locales across the state.
The students were nearly all volunteers in their respective communities, some hoping to enhance their skills, others looking for refresher training, and still others working towards their certifications.
Classes ranged from “Understanding the NC Response Rating Plan” to “Fire Hose, Streams and Appliances,” from “Fire Chief 101” to “TR/Ropes: Fixed Rope Systems.” There was even a class in “Arson Detection for the First Responder,” designed to help those first on the scene with the intricacies of recognizing an intentionally set fire, preserving all-important evidence, and properly reporting to the appropriate officials.
Bobby Barton, Director of Health and Public Safety at Tri-County Community College and director of its fire training program, believes the event, held nearly every year since 1982, was an unqualified success.
“In spite of the bad weather, we had more than a hundred men and women come out for this,” said Barton. “ It’s a great opportunity for these folks to pick up valuable skills and information that they would otherwise have to travel long distances to receive. The fact that it’s in a resort setting was just icing on the cake.”
More photos from the event may be viewed on the College’s Flickr Page.
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