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Baldwin County training new firefighters

Baldwin County Fire and Rescue held their first training session of the new year Monday night. 

"Anyone who wants to help other folks, we're going to try to help them," says Fire Instructor Billy Benzur. 

About 30 hopeful graduates met to learn more about what they can expect over the next several months. 

They have nine full-time employees, and Benzur says at least 15 people are needed at a typical emergency scene. 

They do have about 90 volunteers, but he says they need a wider pool of qualified people to protect the county.

"Clearly, we would like to have the highest ratio of public safety officials to citizens as possible," Benzur says.

Along with the textbook lessons in the classroom, the applicants will get hands-on training with the equipment and by practicing different scenarios. 

One of the trainees is Cayla Brantley, a student at Georgia College and State University. She says she's wanted to be a firefighter since an early age.

"They would come and show off the firetrucks to the students," she says. 

 She thinks volunteering will provide her with the tools not only to help others, but also to better herself. 

"To evolve as a firefighter, but also as a person, to be a better person," Brantley explains.

Jeffery Hogan is interested in a full-time position.

"I like a challenge," he says. "love helping people."

"It will open your eyes to a lot of different scenarios," adds Michael Durden. "You learn to look at things a lot differently."

Durden, whose father is a firefighter, is looking to follow in his footsteps. 

"All he talks about is saving somebody, saving somebody!"

Benzur says anyone who is willing to serve would make a great addition to their team. 

"Whether it be technology, medicine, it be mechanics, or construction, anybody, anywhere has something to offer the fire service."

The trainees log 350 hours throughout the course. 

Classes will be held three times a week through June. 

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