Fire departments in Prince Edward County prepare for school year

Published 2:21 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

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Even though students aren’t ready yet, the fall semester is quickly approaching. Before it comes, the Farmville Fire and Hampden Sydney Volunteer fire departments are making sure they are prepared in case the new semester brings an emergency situation.

The Farmville Fire Department and Hampden Sydney Volunteer Fire & Rescue held a joint training session at Longwood University. The two departments went to check out Moss and Johns Halls to test out the best approaches in case of a fire or other emergency. They looked at the best placements and the reach capacity of their aerial ladders. 

Doing this training now can help the fire departments have a better understanding of the layout of the campus and the two buildings. According to Farmville Fire Chief Daniel Clark, this practice gives them time to figure out the best approach while conditions are good.

Fire Departments Prepare

(Photo by Danny Cooper with Cooper’s Aerial Photography)

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“During an emergency, there is so much going on that it’s not the time to figure out how to go about it,” said Clark. “This gives us one less thing to try and figure out when there is an emergency.”

During the training, they found that some areas have more reach than others and since it was only training, they had time to make adjustments to find the most efficient way to respond to a call in case of an emergency. This training session also gave the firefighters more practice on the ladders as they tested different placements. 

Along with learning the best approaches to the outside of the buildings, the two departments also took time to explore what is inside. They did walkthroughs of the building and located the sprinkler systems and the standpipe systems. The standpipe system are pipes that connect the water supply to a hose connection for the fire department to connect to like an indoor fire hydrant. 

This training session was the first of more sessions planned with the two departments before the school year starts again. Working together and with Longwood University and Hampden Sydney College, they will find more ways to efficiently respond to calls and keep students safe.

“From time to time we plan to have more of these sessions and partner with Longwood and others to prepare for the challenging parts before an emergency happens,” said Clark.

Clark wanted to extend a thank you to Hampden Sydney Volunteer Fire Department for being a part of these training sessions and to Longwood for opening up their campus to let them practice.