BURRILLVILLE – Firefighters from the Wallum Lake, Pascoag and Harrisville districts attended National Emergency training in Maryland last week, a two-day program put on by the National Fire Academy.

The academy works to enhance the ability of fire and emergency services professionals to deal more effectively with fires and related emergencies, and offers free optional training courses annually at their campus in Emmitsburg.

The classes were held July 13 and 14 for emergency professionals from Rhode Island and South Carolina, and a group of 15 from Burrillville were in attendance. Students received two-day classroom training on subjects that included current firefighting methods, and emergency medical training and techniques.

“Every year there’s usually a contingent of firefighters from Burrillville,” explained Harrisville Chief Michael Gingell, who went to the training along with seven other firefighters from his district. “The instructors come in from all over the country.”

Attendees stayed overnight on campus completing two days of classroom work with a choice of six classes. The campus is also home of the Firefighters Memorial and the group held service for Rhode Island firefighters who have died in the line of duty Saturday afternoon after class.

Chief Emeritus of Harrisville Mark St. Pierre serves as state liaison to the NFA, and helped to coordinate the event. The Harrisville contingent was joined by three firefighters from Wallum Lake and four from Pascoag.

“It’s a good learning experience,” said Gingell. “I think it’s a great educational opportunity for the Rhode Island firefighters and EMTs to experience the National Firefighter campus and the training and education that you get there.”

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