For several years now the South Sumter Fire Battalion has been the home of a pilot program for certification of Alabama Volunteer Firefighters.  It appears that this may well be the last class that goes through this local program before the “online” or “hybrid” model goes statewide.  This program has been the product of many hours of hard work and collaboration among the instructors and Chief Vaughan.  Further, this program would not have been possible without the input and blessing of AFC Executive Director Alan Rice and Central Region Coordinator Larry Jarvis.  This program has already certified some excellent firefighters and it is hoped that this model will allow the certification numbers in the state of Alabama to exceed the national average and climb to the top of the pack!

In addition to the required skills, we like to introduce candidates to other skills (including those used later in the course) early and often.  Tuesday night of this week saw some candidates touch turnout gear and SCBAs for the first time.  Candidates were broken into groups and put through their paces in a self coaching fashion.  Before the night was over nearly all had completed the required skills.  Thursday night brought several of their skills together as well as placing and additional burden on the candidate by placing them in a search pattern on air.  Exercises like this prove that we have an exceptional group of young people interested in joining the fire service in Sumter County.  There is no doubt that when these guys graduate the communities they represent will be getting some of the best firefighters the area has to offer. 

Candidates practicing their skills on Tuesday Night. 

Chief Vaughan discussing the drill before the class started on Thursday. 


Livingston Lt. Ronnie Sharp assisting a member of his department prepare.