Keeping them properly trained

Area residents and visitors to Brooke County this weekend may notice a full parking lot at Brooke High School, as the 16th-annual Upper Ohio Valley Fire and Rescue School takes place.

Hundreds of paid and volunteer firefighters from throughout the Tri-State Area and beyond are expected to be on hand for the two-day event.

For more than a decade the fire school has offered a chance for firefighters to gather to enhance their skills and knowledge in order to become better prepared to protect all of us.

Whether it is basic firefighting skills, vehicle extrication or something more advanced like handling a fire at a reported meth lab or ATV rescue techniques, our emergency personnel need to continually train for a variety of incidents and scenarios.

Whether part of a paid municipal department or a rural volunteer organization, they are all there to make sure the rest of us are as safe as possible.

Training at the fire school is provided by some of the best in their fields. This year a course will focus on hazards encountered when fighting fires in homes owned by hoarders. The teacher is Ryan Pennington, a firefighter and paramedic with the Charleston Fire Department and member of the West Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team.

We know our area firefighters are exceptional at what they do, and we thank them for their dedicated service. We also have come to know just how valuable the Upper Ohio Valley Fire and Rescue School and appreciate the fact it is held here.

Each year our local firefighters work hard to help bring the fire school to fruition, so we offer our heartfelt appreciation in particular to the Hooverson Heights Volunteer Fire Department, as well as other sponsors, including RESA 6, the Brooke County Board of Education, Wheeling-Nisshin, the state Division of Technical and Adult Education, Lauttamus Communications and the Brooke-Hancock Local Emergency Planning Commission.

Welcome to all those visiting firefighters taking part in this year’s fire school.