Andy, Opp fire departments pair up for training

Published 12:16 am Friday, May 27, 2016

Andalusia and Opp fire departments have joined forces to provide training for local fire fighters that may not have otherwise been available locally.

Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin said Thursday that his fire department has been involved with the state fire college for five years and has brought some classes here.

Spurlin said that since Russell McGlamory took over as Andalusia’s fire chief, they have been working together to orchestrate some mutual aid training to better equip their fire departments and the surrounding areas’ departments.

“We are just trying to do some things here locally,” Spurlin said. “This helps our local volunteer programs to get the needed training.”

Spurlin said that both fire departments have access to great training facilities – Andalusia at the Wilbur Williams Law Enforcement Training Facility and Opp at their ne Emergency Operations Center.

Spurlin said there are three classes that the two departments are hosting.

The first is a fire instructor 1 course, which Spurlin said will be held June 20-24 in Andalusia.

“It’s a 40-hour course,” he said. “Their department is hosting it. Myself and some of our fire instructors are going to help.”

Starting Aug. 8 and running through Sept. 3, there will be an apparatus operator-pumper program, held at night at the city of Opp EOC Police/Fire Training Center.

“We are going to do this at night, two nights a week for four hours a night,” Spurlin said. “We are basically doing it that way because we are a combination department. We also have others interested from other departments.”

Spurlin said that course will be 40 hours as well.

For the third training event, set for Oct. 31 through Nov. 5, the departments have received a grant.

It will be a Hazardous Materials Technician course and will be held in Opp. With the grant, the fee is waived.

“Everything is supplied,” he said. “And it’s the only Hazmat tech class below Montgomery for the remaining part of the year. We already have about 12 students who have registered for the course.”

Spurlin said there are many positive factors in teaming with local fire departments.

“It is not only good for us, but it helps generate some revenue to the cities,” he said. “People come here and they stay in motels and they eat. It’s kind of like a win-win.”

Spurlin said he’s excited about it.

“We’ve been talking about already for 2017, and what I hope to do personally,” he said. “We want to try to do two or three fire college-related training sessions to help provide a better service.”

Spurlin said training like this can help improve ISO rating, which in turn helps lower insurance rates for locals.

For more info, call 334-493-7015.