In the meantime, training of new firefighters continues, said interim Fire Chief Troy Spence.
The final class of newly hired BCFR firefighters will have a graduation ceremony April 14.
Spence said firefighters will have completed 460 hours of training.
“During the 14 weeks of training, firefighters will learn first response procedures, HazMat, Incident Command structure and fire behaviors,” Spence said.
Firefighting is the main objective for the new personnel, but they will also be undergoing rescue training to enhance specialized rescue team operations.
Volunteers perform many of the rescue operations such as high-angle, confined space, water and swift-water rescue, search and other elemental procedures pertaining to rescue or recovery, said Spence.
Spence traveled to Marietta, Ga., this week to inspect new fire engines.
Spence said earlier this year that the department’s new trucks should be completed by April 14.
Engineers, chiefs and other firefighters have continued to train.
Recently, a live burn was conducted where fire personnel had the opportunity to put into place what they had studied.
“Fire behavior is one of the most important elements of fighting a fire,” Spence said. “A firefighter learns to read the dynamics of a fire by observing its fuel, ventilation and smoke. They are able to apply what they learn in a live-burn scenario to study the behavior further.”
Since the 1950s, Bradley County Fire-Rescue has been known as Civil Defense, the Lee Atchley Memorial Rescue Squad and Bradley County Rescue.
It has been a volunteer organization most of the time, and volunteers are still a very important element of the department which now has both paid and volunteer personnel.
“We are constantly looking for people who want to help our community through volunteering and taking on a challenge to better themselves and strengthen their knowledge by becoming a member of one or more of our specialized technical teams,” Spence said.
With three new fire halls to be placed in service during the next few months, Spence said those who would like to volunteer are welcome.
“We have volunteers who also share their resources and knowledge with us,” Spence said. “BCFR is proud to have these people who have made rescue or firefighting a part of their lives.”