September 7, 2006
A smoking building is often cause for concern except when it is a training exercise. Now the Charlottesville City Fire Department has four new hires to help put that fire out.
"They all come with certifications. They are all ready to go to work but we wanted to run them through procedures with our equipment to make sure they are ready to start work," said Battalion Chief of Training Doug McGlothlin.
Training officers ran the new hires through burn building exercises preparing them for many different scenarios. All four firefighters went through a rigorous hiring process that took nearly four months and each say they are ready to go to work.
"I am at a young age stage in my life where I have six years of volunteer experience and I am looking to forward to this new journey," said Matt Warne.
"The people are here to show you just like at Roanoke City, so there is really no difference other than a different territory," said Jeremy Evans.
Even though it is simulated smoke they use inside the burn building, firefighters say it gives them a chance to sharpen their skills while teaching teamwork.
"The better they work together, the more efficient they are going to be, the more they understand what each other is doing," McGlothlin said.
And while each say they enjoy serving the public, they also say firefighting fulfills them personally.
"Being wanted. People wanting you there and they count on you and it is a good feeling," said James Shifflett.
"It's just great coming into work and getting paid for something you love doing," said Joshua Pugh.
They begin regular shifts on Saturday. Each of the firefighters comes to the department with experience. Two were volunteers in Albemarle County, one was a volunteer in Ashland while the fourth worked in Roanoke City.