Bradley Boone followed in his family footsteps by serving his community for the last 20 years. He is employed by the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department and is Assistant Chief at the Pensacola Fire Department. Boone has also been a part-time fire instructor for Mayland Community College for over five years and has participated in some capacity as a student or instructor at four Rookie Schools provided through Mayland Community College and local fire departments.
“The North Carolina Community College System provides free fire/rescue/EMS training to eligible citizens, either volunteers or paid members of their organizations,” said Mayland’s Associate Vice President of Economic & Workforce Development Rita Earley. “At Mayland we are fortunate to have a great working relationship with local departments. Together, we provide quality instruction at each departmental site so that members are trained using equipment they will use in the field.”
Training ranges from single classes to a set of ten classes (Rookie Schools) required for eligibility for Firefighter I & II certification. The Rookie Schools involve 480 hours of training from ropes classes to hazardous materials to rescue techniques to fire behavior. When fire fighters complete the hours as well as tests involved, they are eligible to receive the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) certification in Firefighting I and II. Boone will be assisting with another Rookie School this summer that begins on May 12.
According to Boone, this certification not only makes a stronger fire department, but also can help fire fighters gain employment at paid fire departments.
Volunteer fire fighters are required by North Carolina state law to receive 36 hours of educational training per year. Mayland Community College, in addition to offering training for the state certification, also provides this educational fire training. The college assists in planning and implementation of classes, locating and securing training tools that fire departments may not be able to afford on their own, and can supply additional instructors and props for classes.
“Mayland definitely serves as the hub of fire training in our area,” said Boone.
“As instructors, we help organize around 600-700 hours of training at different stations in Mitchell and Yancey counties each year. Class requirements are always changing, there are always improved ways, new techniques and new equipment to learn how to manage. Training is available to all fire departments no matter their size.”
Boone decided to become an instructor to insure that the fire fighters in this area receive quality training.
“A lot of the fire fighters locally are volunteers,” said Boone. “A fire doesn’t know the difference between a professional or volunteer fire fighter, so we strive to provide the same level of professionalism and training to the rural communities so their departments are able to be safe on the scene.”
In order to become a certified fire instructor, Boone completed his Fire Fighter I and II training, took a 16 week instructional methodology course, passed a 200 question comprehensive exam, and successfully completed an instructional methodology test.
“Bradley has worked hard to ensure that all students who complete his classes are well prepared to serve in their local fire departments or to compete for paid positions in the region,” said Earley.“He has proven to be an excellent instructor for Mayland. Boone will be assisting with another Rookie School this summer in May.”
For more information on Fire Training call Mayland Community College’s Yancey Learning Center at 828-682-7315.
Pictured during a training exercise is Bradley Boone, a local volunteer fire fighter and one of Mayland Community College’s fire training instructors.