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The Swoope Volunteer Fire Company conducts extraction training for area firefighters

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — This weekend, firefighters from the Swoope Volunteer Fire Company and surrounding agencies improved their extraction skills with a hands-on training course.

This training takes place every three to five years.

As vehicles change, firefighters must adapt and keep their skills current.

“We have to be certified every five years just to keep up with ongoing changes in vehicles,” said Benjamin Piner, lieutenant of the Swoope Volunteer Fire Company. “A lot of modern cars today are all battery powered, so that’s a big change for us that we have to adapt to supply our community.”

Piner said in-house training for vehicle extractions is held monthly at the Swoope department, but this recertification training allows for a more in-depth approach.

“When we go out in the event of an accident, safety is the first thing we look for. We have to be careful and make sure our guys are safe, so it’s important they learn that and good habits while we’re here,” Piner said.

The Virginia Association of Rescue Squad hosted the weekend training and provided the necessary equipment for free use at the Swoope department.

This training included eight hours in class and eight hours of practice.

“I really learned that you take things slow, and that’s how you go fast and have confidence in your skills, but always be ready to learn more,” said Sarah Campbell, a firefighter at the company. 25.

In the event of a real emergency, firefighters work against the clock to get passengers out as quickly and safely as possible.

“It just gives me the confidence that I can go out there and represent them on any vehicle or any incident that we’re in,” Campbell said.