Free Volunteer Firefighter Training held at SOTC

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Lawrence Martin was one of 150 volunteer firefighters who practiced providing medical aid to patients, saving victims from dangerous situations, and extinguishing vehicle fires over the weekend.

"It allows as many firefighters as possible to come to the school and learn different aspects of the fire service...and it's unbelievably valuable."

The free training was held Saturday and Sunday at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center and was provided by the Oklahoma State University Fire Service.

"Being volunteers, we wouldn't be able to get this training if it were not for them."

Martin, who's the assistant fire chief at the Meridian department in Stephens County, says he's not the only one who will benefit from the training.

"I was able to take 6 different courses, which allows me to bring that back to my community and assist my community and take the training back to the fire station and help the other volunteers."

"Training saves lives. And it's just imperative that A. They're more efficient at what they do and B. They go home when the fire is done and see their wives and their husbands and their kids..."

Training specialist, Dannie Whitehouse, with OSU, says proper training can mean the difference between life and death.

"If we learn nothing from the drought and the wildfire's that we had it's A. You can never be too well trained and B. We all need to be able to work together."

Martin says constantly sharpening skills should be a priority when it comes to firefighting.

"Training is always updating, things are changing as new technology comes in line, which changes your training and your abilities. So if you stay updated with your skills, you provide better training and basically better service to your community."

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