Winter training with the Asheville Fire Department

On December 15, the Asheville Civic Center became a high-elevation training ground, as the Asheville Fire Department practiced rope maneuvers and evacuation techniques from the cat walk of the Civic Center arena. The next day found the department’s newest hires in Swannanoa at an arranged burn, part of the certification process for becoming a firefighter.

From APD Public Information Officer Kelley Webb:

“Even during winter months AFD must continue to train in order to be ready for an emergency. Throughout the year, AFD trains in all areas from EMS, to fire, to swift water rescue to what we did at the Civic Center: high angle training. Crews rotated through the Civic Center training in different scenarios to better prepare themselves in the event that technical rescue call comes in. Living in Asheville, we could easily encounter a high angle rescue to assist someone who gets into a situation during a rock climbing adventure, rappelling, a slip and fall during a hike, or even a window washer. Continuous training allows our firefighters to keep fresh on their skills in order to better serve the community.”

On December 16, training continued with a training burn in Swannanoa. The burn, set in a house donated for this purpose, was a mandatory portion of a certification that will result in the graduation of six new firefighters to the Asheville Fire Department. The AFD conducts such burns throughout the year to allow firefighters hands on experience with fire and fire behavior in a more controlled environment.

This particular training burn was conducted in collaboration with AB Tech’s continuing education course, Webb said.

The AFD also posts announcements and updates via Twitter at