KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The City of Kannapolis Fire Department has been recognized for achieving the highest standards for training and equipment following a detailed inspection by the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
The department earned this recognition for meeting the highest standards in five specific rescue and emergency medical categories: Heavy Rescue (large vehicles such as buses/tractor trailers), Confined Space Rescue (tunnels/manholes), High Angle Rescue (multistory buildings/scaffolding), Agriculture Rescue and as an Ambulance Provider. A majority of the department’s personnel are now trained and certified in these areas.
In order for Kannapolis fire personnel to achieve this certification they completed a multiyear process of training and acquiring the necessary equipment. The department was also recognized as a certified land search team and has been sent to several areas around the state to help other cities when needed in the last year. The department was already certified and continues to provide water rescue and hazardous materials services to residents of the City when needed as part of their special operations team.
“As Kannapolis continues to see tremendous growth, it is critical that our department constantly evaluates its capabilities to be ready to respond to any emergency calls we receive from our residents. For example, one area where we have seen a significant increase in calls is hazardous materials. Usually these are the result of vehicle accidents where there may be a fuel spill or a truckload of hazardous materials,” stated Division Chief Greg Summitt, who also serves as the department’s Special Operations Chief. “Our Special Operations Team has extensive training in hazardous materials to ensure we handle these incidents safely and appropriately.”
The Kannapolis Fire Department is also part of the Rowan County Special Operations Task Force, which is composed of departments in the county who respond to these types of incidents. The task force includes Rowan County Rescue as well as the Salisbury, Locke, Cleveland, Miller’s Ferry and Rockwell Rural fire departments. Formed several years ago the department in the task force work together to share equipment and specialized personnel and response teams. This allows area departments to save money, avoid duplications of services and strengthens working relationships between all personnel.
The Kannapolis Fire Department is also is part of the Cabarrus County Land Search Team and serves as a backup to the Concord Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team for Cabarrus County.
“I am proud of the work that has been put in over the last few years, not only to become certified in these specialty areas, but also of the important role that we play in supporting the Cabarrus and Rowan County Special Operations. Together, we can more effectively provide trained, certified and equipped personnel for these infrequent events without this becoming a significant financial burden to any one department. The teamwork of all these departments in their effort to provide a higher level of service is a testament of their commitment to their communities.” added Kannapolis Fire Chief Tracy Winecoff.