Mississippi College

Parking Garage at Mississippi College Hosts Clinton Fire Department Drill

July 1, 2014

Clinton firefighters used hoses to battle thick smoke spewing from the second floor of Mississippi College’s parking garage.

Visibility was practically non-existent as city firefighters darted through the three-story facility and quickly removed an unconscious victim from the scene on the Clinton campus.

As Clinton Fire Chief Barry Burnside and Division Chief Jeff Blackledge directed operations, the event at MC was the focus of three days of fire training exercises. The activities June 24-26 gave invaluable experiences to about 40 Clinton firefighters.

“It went real well,” Blackledge said. “It was like a hotel fire.”

 Simulating real life situations, the emergency event dispatched fire fighters to carry air tanks and haul weighty hose packs as they rushed up stairs in a building filling with smoke. A smoke machine helped make the drill seem real. There were four separate drills each day with dozens of Clinton firefighters utilized along with several fire engines.

The new parking garage located near the A.E. Wood Coliseum was the perfect setting for the exercise.

Mississippi College leaders were pleased to have the Clinton campus host the emergency drill.

“When it comes to community and campus emergency planning and preparation, it is of tremendous value to Mississippi College to welcome various training exercises on our campus,” said Steve Stanford, vice president for administration and government relations. “We appreciate and applaud these efforts.”

Burnside felt his department made the right choice to use the MC parking garage.

“MC’s parking garage is equipped with dry standpipes and fire department connection outlets on each level,” he said. “It’s similar to what you would find in a multi-story hotel building.”

In the last few years, the Clinton Fire Department has obtained newer, more advanced fire trucks and other modern equipment to enhance safety throughout the city.

Last year, the Mississippi College parking garage was the backdrop when Clinton fire fighters quickly reacted during a simulated car fire.

Expect Mississippi College’s East Campus or the former Clinton Junior High property to be utilized for a fire drill in October or November, Blackledge said. It won’t be the last. “We plan more in the future,” he said. “Mississippi College has always had a good partnership with us.”

Several months ago, Mississippi College officials partnered with the Clinton Fire Department, Clinton Police Department, the office of Mayor Phil Fisher, Clinton public schools, and area law enforcement agencies to deal with a simulated shooting incident at Clinton High. The rapid response gave local leaders fresh insights on emergency procedures in the city.

Photo: Engine 2 on display at station 2 of the Clinton Fire Department.

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