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Calhoun firefighters advised of new courses on wildland blazes

Calhoun firefighters advised of new courses on wildland blazes

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ST. MATTHEWS — Contrary to popular belief, most wildland or forest fires occur in the southeastern U.S., Hampton Shumann, chairman of the South Carolina Wildland Interface Curriculum Commission, told members of the Calhoun County Firefighters Association during the group’s monthly meeting May 28.

The meeting was held at the St. Matthews Fire Department.

Shumann said the majority of the wildland fires occur on seven acres of land or less. The new thinking on fighting these fires is resulting in new methods of fighting wildland fires and new training for controlling them, he said.

As a result, Shumann said the South Carolina Fire Academy is putting together a new curriculum and is beginning a new 16-hour course, 1181 — Wildland Firefighting and 1182 — An Urban Interface, which include new tactics for fighting forest fires. He introduced Horry County firefighter Tim Rainbolt, who will be the primary instructor of the new courses. Rainbolt gave an overview of the curriculum. Also attending the meeting was Chief Robert Risinger of the state Firefighter Mobilization Oversight Committee.

In other business:

* The Association secretary/treasurer reported a balance of $450.77.

* Monthly fire station reports were as follows: the Sandy Run Volunteer Fire Department responded to 17 calls; Cameron VFD, six calls; Fort Motte VFD, 10 calls; and St. Matthews VFD, no report. Fire departments not represented at the meeting were Caw Caw, Jumper Station, Midway, Jamison and Belleville.

The association’s next meeting will be held June 25 at the Sandy Run VFD.

* Contact the writer: 803-874-3276.

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