By: Captain Gene Shealy
Photos By: Samie Worthington
Newberry County Emergency Services and Newberry Fire Department came together for an open house event at the new site of Newberry County Emergency Services Training Grounds. The location for the new training grounds is 2301 Adelaide, which most of us remember as the old Newberry County Fairgrounds. Newberry Emergency Services was in search of a place that is centrally located for all departments and one that serves the purpose and scope of its training requirements, and it seemed that this area fit the needs of Newberry County Emergency Services.
Upon much work and partnership between Newberry County Emergency Services and Newberry Fire department, both parties agreed on the site and presented it to its administration. Once the land was granted for this project, much work was done to revive the area. Trees were planted by the fire service through a Palmetto Pride grant, and the mulch was donated by Newberry County. The new open-ended shed in the back was purchased through a DHEC grant and will house several DHEC emergency response trailers that are used locally and regionally. Many training props were built by firefighters in the barns and are currently being utilized for realistic training. Bathrooms and classrooms were upgraded to accommodate the needs of students on-site.
The new burn-training facility, located on the back of the property, was finished in July. Many folks donated time and/or material to make this happen. A big thank you to Carolina Concrete, West Development, Vulcan Materials, Newberry County Public Works, Newberry City Public Works, Lindler Construction, Newberry County and Newberry City Council, Representative Rick Martin, and Senator Ronnie Cromer for their part in making this a reality. Instructors were trained on the props and live burn evolutions on July 24th. Each department in Newberry County was given a spot for this training. The new burn facility offers forcible entry training, high angle rope rescue training, moveable walls for search and rescue, multi-story firefighting training, sprinkler, and standpipe operations, confined space operations, tactical ventilation training, firefighter MAYDAY, Ladder Operations, Low profile maneuvering, and live burn training. The facility offers burn rooms on the first and second floors. Newberry County Firefighters will now be able to train at one central location that can meet all its training needs, while the Newberry County Career Center Firefighting Program will also make great use of the facility.
Future planning is ongoing for more props to be put on site. Aside from firefighting, this facility offers training opportunities for the Newberry City Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, Newberry County EMS, Newberry County Hazmat Team, and Newberry County Rescue Squads. Future planning will allow for utility departments to offer training to their personnel, as well. As of now, there is a vehicle extrication site directly behind the burn training facility. In the future, planning will allow for more training, such as Trench Rescue, Hazmat Technician Operations, Flammable Gas and Liquid response, and many more evolutions to meet the need of today’s emergency services.