Local folks may have noticed the firefighting training trailer and equipment sitting in front of the Ava Fire Station, especially when driving north on Jefferson Street near Ava schools. For the past few weeks, local volunteer firemen have been involved in several classes of in-depth training hosted by the Douglas County Fire Chief’s Association. These men and women were participating in Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 classes. According to local participants, these fire training exercises involve real life threatening scenarios, and also include state testing requirements that must be met. The local group pictured above is standing in front of the Region B Live Fire Training Simulator, which was transported to Ava by the Hannibal Fire Department. This simulator is one of four live fire simulators utilized in the training, and in state evaluation exercises on interior and exterior firefighting techniques. Instructors and firemen participating in the training exercises are shown above, back row from l to r, they are: Instructor Mark Kempker, Hannibal Fire Dept.; Instructor Dustin Royal, Hannibal Fire Dept.; Instructor Wayne Cormier, West Plains Fire Dept.; Nikki Hammett, Eastern Douglas County; Adam Hammett, Eastern Douglas County; Terrell Johnson, Skyline Fire Dept.; Brian McFarlin, Ava Rural; Roy Crouch, Eastern Douglas County; Ian Woodward, Eastern Douglas County; Chris Hammett, Eastern Douglas County; A.J. Carmichael, City of Ava Fire; Instructor Kurt Willbanks, West Plains Fire; front row: Alex Fourman, Ava Rural Fire; Matt Jenkins, Goodhope Fire; Doug McQueen, City of Ava Fire; Dwight Dammann, City of Ava Fire; and David Huffman, City of Ava Fire. The local firefighters appreciated the local Walmart management allowing the group to utilize their parking lot space to host the second week of live firefighting exercises, as well as facilitate state evaluations which were held Saturday. Funding for the training came from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant awarded to the Douglas County Fire Chief’s Association, which was hosted by the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department. The live fire training props and simulators were funded by a Division of Fire Safety Grant awarded to the City of Ava Fire Department.