By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: August 18, 2019 | 3:45 p.m.
SURRY – As part of a program specially set up by Dennis Holmes, a Dendron firefighter and EMT who also is with the Surry Volunteer Rescue Squad, local fire and rescue volunteers recently had a unique opportunity to learn first-hand how to deal with what they might encounter in case of an emergency situation on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.
“Dennis put the training together with the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry training officer,” explained Surry County Emergency Services Coordinator Ray Phelps. “He contacted all the fire departments and rescue squad personnel and had a great turnout – close to 30 people for training on how to work with the ferry if responding to an emergency situation.”
When asked about the program, Holmes said, “I work with Newport News Shipbuilding, and they send us through a shipboard training program. I’ve been through twice. Just did it last year. And some of the training I have at work I try to bring home. So the reason I put this together was that I felt like I have never been to the ferry and tried to consider doing training for a shipboard fire there, and I didn’t know how the other volunteers for fire and EMS had been down there to see how tight it is. There are a lot of obstacles you can face on a vessel. So I took the initiative to try to at least put together a tour for all of the Surry County volunteers to be able to see exactly what it’s all about – what type of hazardous materials may be on vehicle, safety equipment on board in case of medical emergency – so we can at least see what the area is like and what we might come in contact with.
“Being that I work at a shipyard,” he continued, “I have had have experience in subs, on aircraft carriers, tugboats, and I felt like I should bring that home to express that. It’s something to open the eyes of some of the volunteers who have never had the luxury to experience or thought about something of that nature. I just feel like it’s something everybody should know something about rather than going in blindly and not knowing anything. The really biggest factor on a vessel in an emergency is a fire. That’s the most danger you really see.”
Speaking of the training opportunity afterward, Phelps said, “Dennis did an absolutely awesome job. I commend him for stepping up to the plate and putting that together. The county and citizens really appreciate somebody like Dennis Holmes, our Volunteer firefighter, for putting this training together for the entire county.”