Moulton firefighter passes elite training course

Moulton firefighter passes elite training course
Walling poses with his turnout gear, much of it visibly affected by the fire and smoke the young fireman battled in his intense Smoke Diver certification training. The weeklong course is only offered once year at the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa. (Source: Chelsea Retherford)

MOULTON, Ala. (WAFF) - The Moulton Fire Department is celebrating after one of it’s crew members passed one of the toughest training courses in the country recently.

Gunnar Walling is the fire member of the Moulton FD to be earn a Smoke Diver Certification. Only a few firefighters in the entire state hold the distinction.

The course is designed to push firefighters to their physical and mental limits. Walling spoke with our news partners at the Moulton Advertiser about what he went through to earn the honor. “It was daylight to dark every day. There were times I’d wake up in my hotel room sore and hurting. I completely destroyed a set of gloves,” Walling recalled the intensive training. “The program is designed to push you even further than you think you can go.”

Walling said he had to rescue an unconscious victim after crawling through a 2 foot hole while completely underground, work with a nearly empty oxygen tank and deal with an obstacle course filled with alarms, heat and smoke.

Fire Chief Ryan Jolly is proud of his firefighter.“As small a department as we are, we wear many hats. Gunnar is now able to pass along the information he learned. He has the skillset and now can help impart that to other volunteers and firefighters,” said Jolly. “The level of commitment he showed really demonstrates his great work ethic. The city and community should be thankful they have someone willing to go and take the extra steps to achieve this certification.”

You can read more in this week’s edition of the Moulton Advertiser.

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