Volunteers receive fire training

Hannah Morton
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PUGWASH - More than 100 volunteer firefighters from across Cumberland County took part in a two-day training session at the Pugwash District Volunteer Fire Department to sharpen their skills and learn about changes in the field of fire fighting.

Volunteers are an essential part of firefighting services in Cumberland County. By having these training sessions it allows them to learn close to home without having to travel great distances, to places like Halifax, said Andy Yarrow, chief of the Pugwash District Fire Department.

The training session, sponsored by the Municipality of Cumberland County, featured courses on basic wild land firefighting, traffic management, strategy and tactics, rescue and communications.

One of the newer courses, strategy and tactics, received the most interest from firefighters. It covered topics like how to size up a scene, set up a scene, give directions, positioning of trucks, hoses and how to deal with the public at a scene.

Most of the courses featured classroom and practical components.

One activity, part of the traffic management course, introduced fire fighters to a new sign that is being used at emergency scenes.

Firefighters practiced setting up the bright pink sign that warns drivers who are about to approach an emergency scene. They also learned how to position a fire truck at a scene to create a safe working environment.

Carl Black, a volunteer firefighter with the Wentworth department, took part in the wild land firefighting course.

Were learning how to stay behind a fire, how to not let it circle us. How to maintain a fire, how to look for escapes, said Black.

Chief Yarrow says he hopes to be able to run training sessions, such as this one, twice a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

There are 14 rural fire departments in Cumberland County, all of which are run solely by volunteers.

For more information visit www.cumberlandfire.ca/info.html.

Organizations: Pugwash District Volunteer Fire Department, Wentworth department

Geographic location: Cumberland County, PUGWASH, Halifax

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