Williamston – Martin Community College hosted fire instructors from around the east Monday and Tuesday for specialized training at the MCC Public Safety Training Complex.

Anthony Killough, Fire/Rescue Training Specialist with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, explained.

“It’s an upgrade. We do these every five years for Live Fire Instructors,” he said. “We meet with them, give them the changes that have happened with the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards and get them up to date with any changes that occurred at the national level and at the state level.”

Prior to 2020, the state had two levels of live fire instructor, according to Killough.

“We have combined those tracts into one titled Live Fire Instructor. All blended into one training regiment,” he said.

The 15 instructors onsite this week participated in LP - or liquefied petroleum - Gas Fire Instructor Qualification, which catches them up to meet recent changes to the Live Structural Fire Qualification for existing fire instructors.

Training consisted of live LP gas fires, utilizing an LP gas-training prop, which was recently added to the MCC Public Safety Training Complex.

According to MCC officials, the college plans to partner with the Office of the State Fire Marshal several more times this year to bring regional training to the campus and offer training opportunities to eastern North Carolina.

Chief Michael Peaks with Williamston Fire-Rescue-EMS applauds MCC for their investment in public safety training.

“Over the past years Martin Community College has spent a great deal of time and finances into the Fire-Rescue-EMS programs it offers. This has been easily noticed by the addition of the Public Safety Training Facility as well as the Public Safety Training Facility Classroom,” Peaks said.

“This facility also allows MCC in hosting state sponsored training through the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal such as it did this week,” Peaks added. “It is my hope that this commitment from North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal only grows, so that we can highlight our facility to those from across North Carolina.”

Peaks continued, “These facilities offer a type of training that we have not historically been able to easily achieve in past years. This facility not only benefits Williamston, but all departments that MCC serves in Martin and Bertie Counties.”

Peaks believes the center would not be what it is today without the support that his profession has received from Martin Community College.

“The MCC Board has been very supportive of this facility and has placed the right people leading these programs into the future. Our agency looks forward to working with MCC in the coming years, providing our Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians with the very best training opportunities available,” he concluded.

Sarah Hodges Stalls can be reached via email at shstalls@ncweeklies.com