SALEMBURG — The firemen with the Salemburg Volunteer Fire Department take great pride in making sure they are adequately trained for any situation that may arise. Additionally, they work hard to ensure the department is fully equipped with any gear necessary for rescue situations.
Gordon Jordan, executive director with the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services, officially announced the department’s achievement of light rescue provider, an achievement that is considered a great honor and high level of professional rescue service.
“We’ve been doing some of the work already,” Salemburg Fire Chief Scott Owens said about the recognition. “Now, the state just recognizes our efforts.”
In emergency situations, the severity of the incident is classified as light, medium and heavy. Different equipment is needed at each level and through a $5,000 grant from South River Round Up, the department was able to be assisted in purchasing equipment that can be used during light rescues.
“The grant was a huge help to us,” Owens said.
Most of the departments in Sampson County are light rescue providers, with Roseboro Volunteer Fire Department being classified as medium and Clinton Fire Department being classified as heavy.
“This doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t respond to any situation,” Owens said. “It simply means we are better trained and better equipped to handle certain situations and emergencies.”
Assistant Chief Kevin Hairr said the department gathered and submitted paperwork to the state, requesting they be classified as a light rescue provider. Through the weeks-long process, the state came and inspected the department’s trucks and equipment. The firemen had to receive additional training, as there has to be a minimum of eight people on a department trained in the area. Grants assisted with funding the training as well.
“This makes us a part of an association that allows us to now apply for more grants to better the department further,” Owens said. “All the training makes us a more versatile department.”
The firemen will continue training efforts, through continuing education programs. In all, the department has 27 firemen on the department. Some of those firemen are paid, but Owens said the majority are volunteers.
“It truly is an honor for us to get this provider status,” Owens said. “It shows that we are making an effort to advance and better serve the community around us.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.