Two Garner firefighters recently completed the North Carolina Breathing Equipment and Firefighter Survival School in Gastonia. The class is one of the most physically and mentally taxing classes offered for firefighters.
“It was a week of hands-on training that first and foremost teaches you how not to put yourself in the dangerous position of having to be rescued,” Captain Mike Bishop said. “It also teaches you how to self-rescue and save the lives of our fellow firefighters should they become trapped.”
Lieutenant Jeff Wommack added, “It was the most physically demanding course I have ever been a part of. We participated in various survival scenarios with live fire and heat. It was as close to the real thing as you can get.”
Both Bishop and Wommack received NCOFSM Breathing Equipment and Firefighter Survival certifications as well as Rapid Intervention certifications. The school has a two-year waiting list and other members of the department are waiting their chance to go.
Bishop has been with Garner Fire-Rescue for 12 years rising to the rank of Captain in 2011. Wommack was hired in Garner in 2010 and has been a lieutenant for a year.