Tallahatchie County firefighters gathered last week for training sessions designed to help make them more effective at their job — suppressing fires to protect lives and property.
“This is one of the two, 12-hour fire classes held in the county annually,” explained Tallahatchie County Fire Coordinator Linnie Maples, who noted that this particular class was on apparatus pump operations.
The hands-on classes were held on and adjacent to the grounds of the Tallahatchie County Fire Training Center, located at the Tallahatchie County Industrial Park east of Charleston. The classes were under the direction of Bryan Brown, associate instructor with the Mississippi Fire Academy.
“One of the major objectives was to learn how to better operate the pumps on the equipment in the county,” Maples said.
Among the exercises performed was relay pumping which, the coordinator explained, “could easily be seen in areas of the county where there are no fire hydrants.”
He said a master stream on a small Cascilla Fire Department truck was fed by large 3-inch lines from Paynes, Paducah Wells and Cascilla pumper trucks.
“The Cascilla pumper was supplied water by a 5,000-gallon tanker from Paynes,” Maples noted. “Cascilla pumper also kept Paynes’ pumper full of water. Paynes’ pumper supplied Paducah Wells’ pumper with water.”
Local firefighters also learned more about the use of foam as a weapon.
“Foam is just what the name implies and is a soapy substance that provides better heat absorption and fire control than water alone,” explained Maples. “It can be used as a tool to control all types of fires from normal combustible materials to flammable liquids like gasoline. The difference would be the type of foam used — Class A for normal materials like homes, cars or wildland fires, grass and leaves, and Class B for flammable liquids.”
Another exercise involved operation of a dual master stream, which would be used to fight a large fire from a distance.
In addition to the fire departments already mentioned, Maples said personnel from other departments also participated in the training, although none of their equipment was utilized.
“One thing that is needed in the county is more volunteers,” noted Maples, who added, “If anyone would like to volunteer, I encourage them to contact their local fire department or to contact me for help in volunteering.”
Maples may be reached at 662-609-5128.