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PCC assists local fire departments with new equipment for training

Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019
by Elizabeth Townsend

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Tags: Fire Training
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Piedmont Community College (PCC) works with local fire departments in both Caswell and Person counties to provide training for firefighters and emergency responders. In an effort to improve training opportunities, and decrease the need to leave the area for training purposes, PCC purchased three ConEx trailers, placing two trailers at Providence Fire and Rescue, Inc. in Caswell County and one at the Timberlake Fire and Rescue Department in Person County.

Providence Fire and Rescue Chief Kenneth R. Everett, shared “Fire departments and training academies are choosing to create custom fire training facilities and burn rooms out of modified shipping containers [ConEx trailers]. These facilities equip firefighters with the capability to better train in real life scenarios with the necessary safety guards in place.”

In addition to using the ConEx trailers to learn about fire behavior, such as fire growth, flashover, rollover, and backdraft, the space can also be used for various training exercises, including:
• Practice of fire-reduction
• Rescue techniques
• Live fire training
• Search drills
• Mayday drills
• Bailout out drills
• Ladder operations
• Ventilation


The two ConEx trailers stationed at the Providence Fire and Rescue Department are the first in the county. Previously, firefighters had to travel outside of the county for these specific, specialized training exercises.

Timberlake Fire and Rescue Department received a ConEx trailer from PCC, as well. “With these boxes, Timberlake Fire and Rescue will be able to host several additional firefighter certification courses through Piedmont Community College that will not only draw firefighters from Person County, but also potentially from Durham, Orange, and Granville counties,” notes Jason Fletcher, Chief, Timberlake Fire and Rescue.

In addition, students in PCC’s Corrections Education Carpentry program built training props that will allow the firefighters to develop skills through the Denver and entanglement drill, a requirement for first responders to become certified as NC Firefighter by NCOSFM. These props can be used inside of the ConEx trailers and represent wall, floor, and rafter structures.

“Safe fire ground operations result from firefighter competence, and competence comes from training,” states Everett. He notes that changes in building materials can change how a firefighter may respond. “The only way to gain and maintain proficiency with everyday advancements is to train on them, and the only way to do this is to create a real training facility. Fire department training improves firefighter safety.”

Another advantage of the ConEx trailers at both locations is that the containers are cost-efficiency and made of reinforced steel making them fire proof and re-usable for years of future training.

Fire departments are asked to contact Heather Albert, Director, EMS/Fire Training, for their training needs. She can be reached at (336) 694-8052 or Heather.Albert@piedmontcc.edu.

“Person and Caswell counties are very fortunate to have so many dedicated firefighters, many of whom volunteer their time and money to serve the citizens of our communities,” states Albert. “PCC is committed to providing high quality training to ensure these firefighters are prepared to not only save civilian lives, but to also maintain a safe environment while doing so.”

To learn more about emergency services training, including firefighter, EMT, law enforcement, and Paramedic training, please contact PCC’s Public Safety Training Team at (336-634-8052).

Photo: ConEx trailer delivery

ConEx Box delivery4-web.JPG