Volunteers firefighters complete training class

Published 9:30 am Friday, April 19, 2024

BOGUE CHITTO — Cheers, laughter and the occasional siren could be heard in the Bogue Chitto Attendance Center parking lot Thursday evening. Volunteer firefighters from departments across Lincoln County completed a series of driving skill challenges in Bogue Chitto’s engine 10. 

Thursday was the final day of a three day Driver Operator course put on by the Mississippi Fire Academy at Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department. Adjunct instructor Byron Cunningham, who served with the Vicksburg Fire Department and the Culkin Volunteer Fire Department, taught the class. 

Skill challenges Thursday consisted of docking, where operators had to back the fire truck into a tight space. The next challenge was diminishing clearance, where drivers had to fit a fire truck between two lines of cones narrowing down to where the final cones left two inches to spare on either side of the truck. The last challenge was the serpentine course, where drivers turned trucks around cones in a line and then had to reverse around the cones coming back. 

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While several firefighters there were experienced driving fire trucks, a few volunteers experienced their first time behind the wheel. Carl Diamond with Heucks Retreat Fire Department helped coach the first time drivers. 

Classes were held on Monday and Tuesday to go over safety, the importance of inspecting fire trucks, how to navigate public traffic with emergency vehicles and what drivers should do when they get to the scene of a fire. 

Lincoln County is served by Bogue Chitto, East Lincoln, Heucks Retreat, Hog Chain, Loyd Star, New Sight, Ruth and Zetus Volunteer Fire Departments. Contact the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency office at 601-833-8561 or your local fire department to learn how you can serve as a volunteer firefighter.