Barrow fire training preview of things to come

WINDER - For a glimpse of the future, Barrow County firefighters recently dipped a few dozen miles downstate to Morgan County, home of historic Madison and a seriously high-tech training facility.

Every firefighter with Barrow County Fire and Emergency Services rotated over three days last month to the Morgan County Fire Department's "Burn Building" - a haven for realistic training via "live-fire scenarios," officials said.

Firefighters are required to complete live-fire training each year. But Barrow crews will have to go elsewhere to meet those requirements until at least next year, when construction on a new training center in Barrow is scheduled to begin. The center is slated to include its own burn building, said Fire Department spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin.

"This type of training is imperative in order for firefighters to do their job safely," he said.

In Morgan County, each Barrow firefighter was afforded the chance to take turns controlling fires on different levels of the burn building. They also acquainted themselves with thermal imaging equipment used to identify fire extensions and snuff out victims.

Barrow Fire Department Chief Robert Post pointed to the financial benefits of the Barrow-Morgan partnership.

"We we able to conduct this training for our entire department at no cost to Barrow County," Post said.