East TN firefighters gather in Blountville for weekend of training


BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Firefighters from all over East Tennessee came out to Northeast State this weekend for training put on by the Sullivan County Firefighters Association.

The 8th annual East Tennessee Fire and Rescue Conference made its way through Blountville Sunday for a weekend filled with valuable training for our first responders. 

 Students ranging from beginners learning the basics of firefighting all the way to fire chiefs focusing on management filled the halls of Northeast State.

Over 20 different agencies and over 100 students came out for multiple classes including a firetruck driving simulator that gives you obstacles you’ll face during the job, to a trailer that’s fixed up like a home with fake smoke. High pressure situations that mimic the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy south of Murfreesboro, TN.

Ben Wexler, Fire Chief of Warriors Path Volunteer Fire Department encourages participation.

“We take the academy and bring up here to them so they have the opportunity to be able to drive home at night and not have to stay in a hotel room. The one thing I value in the service is training so to be a part of being able to be a part of organize and bring people in here educate them and further their career in the fire service it’s excellent to be a part of that,” Wexler said.

Each agency pays a fee to participate which goes directly towards instructors, food and rental of the property for the weekend. Other classes include vehicle
extracation practice as well as crawling and maneuvering through tight spaces

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