Guilford Technical Community College Fire Academy holds training

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Aspiring firefighters spent all day Friday, learning the ins and outs of service through a live-fire training.

Pairing with the Greensboro Fire Department, students at the Guilford Technical Community College Fire Academy got a chance to learn from those already serving. From extinguishing to search techniques, students at the academy got their hands dirty with some realistic experience.

"I've never done anything like this before so this has been an awesome experience for me,” said Dan Richards, a fire cadet.

These live-burn courses are the last thing the trainees need to get their state certifications from the state fire marshal next month.

"They actually see real fire in a real house. Of course, we do that very safely and under controlled circumstances but it allows them to get the practice that they wouldn't otherwise get,” said Adam Williams, academy instructor.

Recruiting new firefighters is always a top priority.

"The volunteerism in the community as a whole has gone down,” Williams said.

Instructors said it can be difficult for smaller departments to stay fully staffed. It’s especially hard for volunteer departments.

"Definitely a lack of volunteerism not only in Guilford County but across the nation. In the fire service circles that's a pretty common thing to talk about in fire service," Williams said.

Williams said a lack of volunteer firefighters could put a strain on paid firefighters if resources are stretched. Many volunteer departments sponsored a trainee in this course in hopes of them returning to that department.

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