SuperTalk Mississippi

Safety City adds more hands-on training to State Fire Academy


PEARL, MISS– The Mississippi Fire Academy in Pearl, in conjunction with Mississippi 8-1-1, announced the grand opening of Safety City, a new training facility at the academy on Thursday.  

Safety City was built of restored Katrina trailers, and houses various controlled examples of gas leaks, faulty connections, and other issues that an utility operator or first responder may have to tend to in the field.

Safety City will provide training unlike what the academy has seen before, said Executive Director of the State Fire Academy Reggie Bell.

“We’ve never been able to give them the hands-on training to work with leaks, or to respond to potential leaks,” said Bell. “and those 16, 300 firefighters out there, it gives them the knowledge and skills to handle that situation should you have an uncontrolled leak.”

Safety City is a collaborative effort between the fire academy, Atmos Energy, and Mississippi 8-1-1. The event was held on Thursday as a dual celebration for  Safety City and National 8-1-1 Day.

Mississippi 8-1-1 was established to bridge a connection between excavators and the utilities that may be hit during a dig. There are laws in place that require a phone call to Mississippi 8-1-1 before any digging to avoid a disaster.

“The greatest risk to our natural gas pipelines is accidental damage while digging,” said David Gates, President of Atmos Energy’s Mississippi Division. “Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak.”

The training will be beneficial to operators and first responders, but Sam Johnson, President of Mississippi 8-1-1 said it is all to protect the citizens of the state.

“Before a dig, utility and gas lines have to be located to avoid a disaster,” said Johnson. “And that’s part of the training they’ll get here, whether they’re an operator or firefighter.”

Safety City has added just another aspect to training that was taking place at the fire academy. There were houses that would be filled with smoke to train on navigation, toppled train cars and a stretch of railroad to teach responders how to address chemical spills, and other hands-on training exhibits already on the grounds before the mini-city was designed.

“We’re here to train,” said State Fire Marshal and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. “This facility is about saving lives, and saving property. This is a world-class facility. It’s rated the number one facility in the United States.”



Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More