Three nights a week for the past two months, volunteer firefighters have been in training at the Choctaw Fire Department in preparation for their certification and skills exam.
The course study and practical application involves search and rescue, fire behavior, and ventilation techniques.
"It's about 40 hours of classroom work and at least another 40 hours of skill work. like I said, these students have been here for about two months now. They're going to certification in this Saturday. Hopefully, they're going to be prepared and they should be ready to go," said Chris Simpson, an associate instructor at the State Fire Academy who travels throughout the state conducting training and certification classes.
Firefighters say they will take the skills they learn back to their home fire departments.
Mississippi has one of the highest fire death rates in the nation.