Volunteer Firefighters Get Rare Hands-On Training


SALINE COUNTY, Ark. (KARK) — When you are inside a home filling with smoke, there are only two options. You either get out or face the fight.

Collegeville Volunteer Firefighter Matt Kings is learning new tricks of the trade. 

This is not a real burning home, but it’s real enough.

“I’ve been a volunteer since I was 15 or 16,” says Kings.

Kings is getting hands-on training Friday night in Saline County from some of the nation’s best. 

“We have guys from D.C., Baltimore City, Houston and the City of Little Rock,” says Matt Kings.

The weekend training is put on by a company called Task Force One.

From inside the home to checking the roof for hot spots, it’s training like this that can be pricey for volunteer fire departments. 

“It’s expensive for fire training,” says Collegeville Fire Chief Ryan McCormick.

McCormick says most areas in Arkansas are served primarily by volunteer departments, so this training is vital. 

“We don’t get to see fires everyday and that’s good but we don’t get the type of experience some do from around the United States from a career department,” says McCormick.

Kings says this training will keep volunteer firefighters on their toes.

“My wife is a teacher and I got to balance that and home life and my career schedule,” says Kings.

From putting holes in roofs to finding your way out of a home in smoke Kings says these tactics will save lives in the small towns they call home. 

“We don’t have budgets to send you to school. We don’t have budgets to you know go to training all the time,” says Kings.

The training is available to all volunteer firefighters. Anyone interested is asked to contact the Collegeville Fire Department.

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