Eight firefighter candidates completed their lengthy course of study May 12-13 at the training facilities in Panaca.

County Sheriff Kerry Lee, also Panaca Fire Chief, said, “It is a big test that comes in a sealed envelope and the proctor from the State Fire Marshal’s office was White Pine County Fire District Chief Tim Woolever, a former Nevada Division of Forestry employee out of Lincoln County.”

Lee said the Friday session involved the written test and all day Saturday was the actual hands on practical testing. “They have to put on all the protective gear, do a live fire entry, a vehicle extrication, etc. Everyone passed the practicals, but the results of the written test be will announced later.”

Lee noted that some of the candidates were testing for Firefighter I and some for both Firefighter I and II.

“It was a hard practical test, but really good,” said Lee. “I think it was a bigger undertaking than some of the candidates expected, but the training was awesome. Local trainer Beau Carlson and other instructors put a lot of time into it. The amount of volunteer hours those guys put in is incredible.”

Lee said the eight candidates took a followup wildland firefighter class, given by the Nevada Division of Forestry at the center May 20, and still have a hazard materials class to take.

Upon successful completion of the various classes and tests, Lee said the candidates will receive a state certification for Firefighter I and would be able to seek a paid position with a fire service, “or some might stay in the local area to serve as volunteers.” A graduation ceremony will be held at a later time.

He said having the training facility in Panaca is of huge benefit in that interested candidates from the local area can stay close to home to take the regular classes and practical training and testing sessions.