Guntersville Fire Department prepares for marina fires - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Guntersville Fire Department prepares for marina fires

Guntersville firefighters underwent training to better prepare for marina fires. (Source: WAFF) Guntersville firefighters underwent training to better prepare for marina fires. (Source: WAFF)
GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Guntersville Fire Department feels they are better prepared to deal with fires around Lake Guntersville after a recent weeklong firefighting class.

Ten firefighters took this class shortly after a major marina fire.

Assistant Chief Brian Walls said he questioned whether or not they should take the class because it was so expensive and it was going to take a lot of money out of their budget. But he said when tragedy struck at a local marina just two days before the start of class, he knew he made the right decision.

The fire at the Val-Monte Marina destroyed dozens of slips. Walls said the fire department did what they were trained to do but thanks to a marine firefighting class, they are now better prepared.

They've now identified marinas and major areas around the port area for preplanning in case of fire. Walls said they know the hazards and have mapped out where hydrants are, how to attack marine fires, and even know how much hose it will take to get to the most distant part when they arrive.

All of the information is compiled on a tablet for firefighters to access on the way to the scene, something Walls wished they had before the marina fire just weeks ago.

"Just going to the call, they could have had that information, you know, at their fingertips, that we have now as a result of the class. They would have knew going into it what amount of hose they need, what tactics they should us, where they should use the little boat," said Walls.

Walls said they hope to get the entire department trained and plan to get instructors taught later this fall.

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