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Cabin Creek VFD suffers complaint over lax training

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Officials for the West Virginia Fire Commission have filed a complaint against the Cabin Creek Volunteer Fire Department for a long-running lack of training for the department's firefighters.

According to the complaint, filed last month, Cabin Creek fire officials have consistently been unable to provide documents showing equipment tests and have not been able to adequately train their firefighters.

According to findings by the state Fire Marshal's Office, only about 38 percent of the department's firefighters have basic firefighter training, only about 22 percent have hazardous materials training and none have first aid or CPR training. None of the officers of the department have officer training, state fire officials found.

Cabin Creek fire officials have 30 days to respond to the complaint. Officials for the volunteer fire department could not be reached for comment on Monday.

If left uncorrected, the fire department could lose its state certification, though the repercussions of losing certification are not clear. An official contacted at the state Fire Commission would not discuss details of the case, saying it was a legal matter.

C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County's deputy emergency services director, said Cabin Creek's fire department could lose state funding or be barred from operations if the problems aren't corrected. "I guess we'll see," he said. He said state fire officials have recently filed complaints against about half a dozen fire departments around the state that have persistent training problems.

Sigman said the Cabin Creek VFD has about 15 members.

However, Sigman said Kanawha County is trying to help provide training for the department. He said five firefighters recently completed basic training, and others are expected to follow.

"They have been working on it," he said. "We want them to be the best they can be."

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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