PARKERSBURG Several Parkersburg firefighters have completed 48 hours of training to become certified at the level of fire instructor two.
Chief Eric Taylor with the Parkersburg Fire Department said with the certification, the firefighters will be able to function as a lead instructor during real life and practice settings.
The firefighters completing certification include Pvt. Kevin Ackerman, Lt. Doug Ashley, Lt. Brandon Brown, Pvt. Randy Delancy, Pvt. Jason Fleak (Training Officer), Lt. Jason Mathews, Lt. Mike Pifer and Lt. Tom Werry.
Once they complete their student teaching, more of the ever increasing mandated training will be able to be completed in-house, Taylor said. The department intends to host training classes for other fire departments in the region, as well as CPR and other classes for the public.
The completion of these teachings leads firefighters to learn about other safety precautions to take with them into a high-risk scenario including pipeline safety.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is working together with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to engage in a national education campaign promoting safe digging practices to prevent injuries and in some cases deaths.
According to the USDOT, there are 2.5 million miles of pipeline in our nation and one-third of major pipeline accidents are caused by someone digging and hitting a pipeline by mistake.
"Precautionary measures should be followed if you want to do any excavating or underground digging, we have experienced where gas lines have been ruptured and underground electrical lines have been damaged," said Capt. Tim Flinn with the Parkersburg Fire Department. "I believe this is required by law to call before you dig and have the utility lines marked prior to any excavating."
Flinn said the simple procedure of making a phone call can be life saving, as some underground accidents across the country have been fatal.
The Parkersburg Fire Department also keeps information on its website, www.onlyminutesaway.com or find out more by calling 304-424-8470.