Volunteer fire fighters train to save lives

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A car is wrecked. Some one is trapped inside and time is running out to get that person out safely.

It's this type of scenario the Harrison County Volunteer Fire Department trains to be able to respond in a timely and safe manner.

"We'll make sure that the scene is safe when we come up, and then we'll try and make contact with the patient, try to find out what condition they are in. And then we'll try to figure out the best way to get them out of the vehicle," said volunteer fire fighter Tony Knight.

Responders use tools like the jaws of life and cutters to free any one trapped in a car by removing doors or even the roof.

"We have all these roads out here, and we have to cover these roads. We have to make sure that everybody gets this training, so that if we have a call, we can respond and get the person out of the vehicle," explained Knight.

Volunteers give up their nights and weekends to learn the equipment and procedures when dealing with emergencies. To volunteer, a person must undergo 54 hours of training.

"To respond to house fires, medical calls, vehicle accidents, hazardous material calls, all of this outside of the city is covered by volunteer fire fighters," said Knight who emphasized more Harrison County volunteers are needed.

Saturday, veteran responders trained rookies how handle equipment they use in vehicle extrication. They worked in full protective gear, despite the heat.

"Training's fun, makes an enjoyable time. It gets hard at times, but you just got to bare with it if it's something you like doing," said volunteer fire fighter Kurtis Parker.

Like any career, fire fighters must keep up with the training, but for these the volunteers, the time is well spent.

"Save lives, protect property, I just enjoy doing it," said Parker.

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