Residents learn at Upshur County Firefighter Academy

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Citizens Firefighter Academy class traveled to the Washington District Volunteer Fire Company located in Tallmansville to lean more about rural water movement and dump tank operations.

Living in a rural community has its challenges, especially when it comes to fire volunteer fire departments needing a reliable supply of water to fight a fire. Often, fire hydrants are just not available and firefighters have to rely upon other means of securing water.

Citizens learned just how local firefighters accomplish this task. Firefighters from the Washington District Volunteer Fire Company discussed the various way to acquire much needed water in rural areas. Often a tanker truck will connect to a fire hydrant miles away from the fire to acquire water and transport that water back to a specially designed “dump tank” to dump the water to be used by a pumper truck. Other sources of water include ponds, rivers etc.

The citizens fire academy program is a joint project sponsored by the Upshur County Firefighter’s Association, every Upshur County Volunteer fire department in coordination and partnership with the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension.

“Collectively, this program has been designed to uniquely rebuild Citizen-Fire Department relations for the 21st Century in a way that will enormously benefit our entire community,” said David Taylor, one of the programs


“The most important aspiration is to empower participants and presenters alike with knowledge that will build mutual trust and respect within our community,” added Chief Gary Bonnett.

Students meet one evening a week for 10 weeks to discover how Upshur County firefighters serve our community through a highly interactive, hands-on experience.

“Participants will acquire a new sense of awareness, and knowledge, concerning the wide variety of services provided to, and made available to them by their local fire department,” said Bonnett. “Participants will also gain exposure to the wide range of fire department programs, functions and learn more about the economic challenges that face fire departments today.”

To learn more about the citizens fire academy, visit

“We encourage everyone to please visit and like us on Facebook,” Taylor stated.

“On our Facebook page, you can view images from this year’s class, as well as previous year’s classes and also various videos posted of the program showing student participation,” Bonnett said.