Interested in being a local firefighter? “Not as many are who could be,” says Panaca Fire Chief and Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee. “Not just in Panaca but all over the county. Really hard recruiting volunteers. You just never have enough.”

“We are going to be holding a Firefighter I training class hopefully in February or March.” Lee explained it is a new type of training where the person can go at their own pace, much of it online, too. “Once a week, there will be a hands-on session and do the practicals, like learning about ladders. Have a course of those at the firehouse, then go outside and practice raising and lower ladders and other ladder drills.”

He said cost of the training program, which is roughly 8-10 weeks, is not too bad, about $110 per person. “But the success rate for passing the state administered Firefighter I final exam is pretty high.”

Other local firefighters from the county have said the state fire marshall’s office determines what training is needed.

Firefighter I is like a first responder. “Somebody that can pull a hose and put water on a fire from the outside as well as through a door or a window. Also put water on a hay fire, a trash fire or a car fire.”

Lee said, “Admittedly, it’s an intensive program, but being that much of it is online, and just once a week or so for the practical training, by the time that a person is finished, they will be pretty accomplished.”

With some additional training and practice, a person can receive their Firefighter II license, which allows the firefighter to be able to enter a burning structure.

Beau Carlson, a White Pine County Fireman and EMT, who lives in Panaca and is a member of the Panaca Volunteer Fire Department, is a state certified Firefighter I instructor and will be in charge of the local program. Lee said Carlson may also try to do the same program in White Pine County.

Any person who is able to pass the physical is a potential candidate for the Firefighter I program.

Those interested can contact the sheriff’s office at 775-962-5151.