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Training for real life

Firefighters get hands-on experience outside the station

Delran residents might have seen firefighters out and about in the township recently as the latter participated in training on Fairview Street.

The sessions usually occur a few times a month before firefighters complete certification and are fully trained to battle structure fires.

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“Any fire training starts at fire school,” Delran Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Peak said. “Our junior members or our cadets can go through beginning at the age of 16. They go through all of the fire training. It’s over 200 hours worth of training.”


Peak explained that training outside a fire station enables trainees to get real-life, hands-on experience.

“We can’t just tear down walls at our station,” he noted. “We can’t do certain levels of training on a more realistic basis that we can do with the structures that we’ve had. Those moments are important, because it gives us and our members a better sense of reality as far as you’re going to be stretching the hose line through a basement, how are you going to do it, for example.

“We make sure to go through different techniques.”

The weekly training sessions enable would-be firefighters to enroll in classes while still part of a   fire department, which benefits from more members consistently enrolled in the classes.

The township training also allows Delran to grow and sustain operations in its own department.

“We do have a high number of certified firefighters in the Delran fire department, especially for being 100-percent volunteer,” Peak pointed out. “It’s a number to be proud of because not a lot of other departments can say they have a huge volunteer force.

“The volunteer aspect itself is dying,” he added. “People don’t want to volunteer to fight fires or be a first responder anymore. It’s county wide. It’s statewide too, but we do have a strong showing of membership.”


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