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Live-burn trainings at Horse Park, Jan. 30-Feb.3
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Rockdale County Fire and Rescue will conduct several live-fire intensive trainings at the Georgia International Horse Park, from Jan. 30 - Feb. 3, in partnership with the city of Conyers and Rockdale Career Academy.

The city of Conyers donated a large house on the back side of the Georgia International Horse Park that had served as the former GIHP staff office. But the office became vacant in June 2011 after staff moved into a $481,000 newly constructed office on the property.

“We thought of Rockdale because we really hoped the (fire) department could put the house to good use and we’d have a positive outcome for both of us, while also removing a building no longer suitable at the park,” Jennifer Bexley, Director of the Georgia International Horse Park, said.

The burn will be conducted for a week at various times beginning Jan. 30 and ending by Feb. 3.

“This is a great opportunity for Fire and Rescue due to the limited training facilities and properties the department has access to,” Rockdale Fire Chief Franklin Wilson said. “Using a structure such as this will allow the department to train on different types of firefighting techniques and at different levels.”

The training will include working in true conditions and live-fire scenarios such as search and rescue, hose evolutions, fire attacks, firefighter safety and investigations to keep sharp the skills all firefighters must maintain."

He explained the burn will provide considerable financial savings and opportunities to Rockdale. Training within Rockdale allows Fire and Rescue to still cover the county, practice many skills needed on a routine basis and involve its certified instructors at no cost to the department. This type of training at other facilities can cost more than $10,000, not including the hours for preparation, travel expenses and salaries.

“Our gratitude to the City of Conyers and Georgia International Horse Park cannot be expressed enough,” Wilson said. “Their generosity could not have come at a better time. This opportunity for us to all train together and in Rockdale will not only allow the department to grow as one, but help us continue to be the best at our job for county citizens.

“This is a textbook example of what can happen when partners consciously think about each other’s needs and work together to support one another’s goals.”

In addition, this training will further strengthen the department’s partnership with Rockdale Career Academy’s Public Safety and Workplace Spanish programs. Students will visit the site to see live firefighting scenarios, ask questions of firefighting staff and have practical application opportunities to see how classroom learning is applied in live-field exercises. During the field trip, students also will be able to test their knowledge and create visual parallels to the vocabulary they are learning in class.