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BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Emergency Services has teamed up with Brunswick Community College for a fire and rescue training program.
Emergency services director Randy Thompson said the partnership was proposed to “address some concerns,” various fire chiefs throughout the county had raised.
On Monday, county commissioners approved the partnership, giving Thompson the green light to move forward with the training program.
Thompson said the fire and rescue training program partnership with the college helps offset the cost of the program while standardizing the training.
Where the college steps in, Thompson said, is to help fund 51 percent of the salary for an emergency services training coordinator. The training coordinator position is a reclassified and budgeted position from the emergency services department. The training coordinator will focus on responder training.
“We’re trying to provide closer guidance with establishing an instructor base and make sure the instructors are meeting those expectations,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the program would also increase the availability of classes for fire and rescue personnel.
Training records would also be managed from a central point—ensuring certification compliance.
“We feel like this could be one of the most important steps the county has made in years to ensure responders are participating and receiving the level of course offering to ensure safety and compliance,” he said.
“Very seldom do you establish partnerships where you have an investment. All the players are pretty much at the table and everyone is looking at this as a positive opportunity to enhance the quality of the training across the county.”
Shallotte Fire Chief Paul Dunwell says he sees the partnership as a “tremendous benefit” to area fire and rescue squads.
Since the fire and rescue training coordinator came on board with the county, Dunwell says the training program has improved, bringing his department’s total to more than 80 percent completing their training.