Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fire college to be renovated


According to its catalog and student handbook, the Alabama Fire College staff implement the educational and training programs necessary to support the needs of the fire service.

Every career firefighter in Alabama is certified through ?the AFC.

“To be a volunteer firefighter, [certification is] not mandatory, although they tend to want to be,” Allan Rice, executive director of the Alabama Fire College, said.

The AFC doesn’t just provide educational resources for firefighters. It also teaches them how to deal with technical rescues, building collapses, EMS, disaster preparedness and more.

“We’ve expanded exponentially in-state and have added local classes at firehouses,” Rice said. “In 2007, the Alabama Fire College was in 48 counties, and just one year later, in 2008, the college was in 67 counties.”

The AFC has grown thanks to regional training programs, ?he said.

“In 2007, we had an enrollment of 12,500,” he said. “This year we are looking to exceed 25,000 students with about 20 percent of them enrolled at the Tuscaloosa campus. Regional training programs are set up by coordinators, and they promote training and also help set up classes.”

Today, the AFC functions mainly as an educational institution.

“In addition to the main campus in Tuscaloosa, the Fire College operates ten regional offices in the state and a network of 19 regional training and extension centers,” according to the Fire College catalog. “In fiscal year 2012, the Fire College provided educational offerings and training experiences to 21,247 students in Alabama and several other states and foreign countries.”

Although the institution’s main purpose is education, the college has had to become a response/recovery command post, which they did after the April 27 tornado.

“The two weeks after the tornado, our normal operations were suspended to take in search and rescue teams,” Rice said. “The Emergency Management Agency was totally destroyed so we had to help them. Our facility was overwhelmed, and we basically became a field medical hospital for the injured.”

This year, the college is going through improvements to further enhance its educational environment.

According to a news release from the college, the project includes the renovation of an existing space to create a 320-seat auditorium and the construction of an additional 19,000-square-foot building.”

“The next five years are going to be very interesting,” Rice said. “The transition to more online activity and e-Books may happen due to a demand for technology.”

The new structure will also house training fire trucks, three classrooms and a large storage space for equipment.

“The basic programs have expanded since I graduated in 1990, but the initial training and ongoing training was very beneficial,” UA alum and Fire Marshall Gene Holcomb said. “The college gives you the basic needs to be successful in your career.”

Individuals who are interested in the Alabama Fire College can log on to for more information.

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