The tenth Roanoke County Volunteer Fire Academy consisting of 17 graduates from Roanoke County concluded last week with a graduation ceremony.
The graduation program was held at the Vinton War Memorial. Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Chief Richard E. Burch, Jr., along with 10 Roanoke County Volunteer Fire Chiefs was joined by Roanoke County and Town of Vinton officials, along with families of the graduates, at the event where each volunteer was pinned with their firefighter badge.
Fifteen individuals representing Roanoke County Fire & Rescue and two from Bedford spent 20 weeks and nearly 200 hours receiving instruction and practical training in the areas of basic firefighting skills including building construction, forcible entry, ventilation, search and rescue, basic emergency care, and hazardous material operations. The academy ended with a live-burn at the Roanoke Valley Regional Fire & EMS Training Center where recruits were able to test their practical skills.
One of the graduates, Andrew St.Clair, is the son of Volunteer Fire Chief Greg St. Clair of Roanoke County’s Hollins Fire Company. Andrew has grown up watching his dad serve first as a volunteer firefighter and then advancing up the ranks as the volunteer chief. He will now be serving alongside his father.
The Roanoke County Volunteer Fire Academy is offered each year starting in September. The class is offered for all new Roanoke County fire volunteers who serve at one of the 10 volunteer fire companies throughout the County. If space is available, volunteers from other localities are permitted to participate for a small fee. Anyone wanting more information about becoming a volunteer firefighter with Roanoke County should call Jennifer Conley Sexton at 777-8706.