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Fire department stresses safety
Spotlight on safety
PS SpotlightHFD2
Hinesville Assistant Fire Chief Larry Urban (far left in white) discusses strategy for combating a fire at the Pleasant Grove AME Church annex building on March 30, while fire marshals and safety officers analyze the building and design to ensure the safety of firefighters before going inside. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Hinesville Fire Department works to maintain safety among its employees, who often do very dangerous work.

Safety officers are staged on each side of the building to see how a fire is developing.

The Hinesville Fire Department trains up to two hours daily per shift to ensure firefighters keep their skills honed. According to Training and Special Operations Officer Andy Fowler each shift is put through job-specific training drills that are timed and the unit is tested as a team. Urban said a firefighter constantly trains during his or her career. To be able to fight fires, trainees must complete a 187-hour, basic firefighter course. Afterward classes may be taken in a certain progression to get promotions.

Firefighters train in a variety of skills like building construction and design, extrication, interior search and rescue, rapid intervention team training, arson detection and more. The ultimate safety of each person on their roster comes first and foremost, according to Hinesville Fire Chief Lamar Cook.

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