6/21/2013 10:33 PM
by Rebecca Turco
BEAVER - Firefighters in Raleigh County are gearing up for the influx of more than 50,000 people to the area during the Boy Scout Jamboree next month.
The firefighters are cross-training with the different departments to prepare, learning how to operate the equipment. "They'll be able to know what each truck has and what they can do with it," explained Richard Garten of Beaver Volunteer Fire Department.
"It's giving the firefighters a chance to work with one another," said Vice President of the Raleigh County Firefighters Association Carl Allen. "Another chance to cross train with one another and to run calls when needed with these other departments as they get slammed with calls."
Each department is taking turns being on-call with a duty truck Thursday through Saturday nights at a central location, ready to back up any stations needing assistance. They have been centralized on Harper Road in the greater Beckley area, where they can gain access to the turnpike or interstate.
"It's going to get harder for fire departments to function in their own area when there's so many people that's going to be here," explained Garten. "And this is just to relieve everybody that's in their surrounding areas."
Allen said this is only the second week there has been a full crew on-call during the weekend. He explained the firefighters are using this time to continue figuring out how to best protect residents when call volumes increase during the Jamboree.