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Salisbury Fire Department to host regional training at former Ryan’s

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Fire Department will host its first-ever regional fire training conference. Proceeds from the registration fee will benefit fallen firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel.

The training sessions will be held at the former Ryan’s restaurant, 730 S. Jake Alexander Blvd., from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Battalion Chief Nick Martin said the department has about 70 firefighters registered from the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia.

Money from registration fees will go to the Carolina Brotherhood, a cycling charity benefit that supports the families of fallen emergency personnel. Many local firefighters participate in the ride.

Martin said use of the Ryan’s building was donated as were the supplies. Instructors will teach at no cost. The equipment, including saws and blades, was also donated.

Training firefighters receive at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is great, but nothing beats hands-on experience, Martin said.

The Ryan’s property has been sold and will be the site of Culver’s Restaurant, a family-owned restaurant chain based in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Culver’s will break ground in July with an anticipated opening in late 2019, according to Wisconsin-based franchisees George and Dimitri Dimitropoulos and Salisbury owner Corey Antonicci.

Martin said the owner agreed to let the Fire Department hold the training inside the building, where firefighters will practice breaking down doors and providing ventilation to the roof.

Firefighters will not start a fire in the building, Martin said, adding the building is expected to be demolished in July.

Martin said allowing firefighters the opportunity to “cut real roofs” is invaluable training.

The Fire Department has worked with local property owners recently to stage a controlled burn of a house and to do training at homes on property that will house a new fire station.

Martin said the department has reached out to property owners to raise awareness about the training the Fire Departments can do on their properties.

The training doesn’t always necessarily mean firefighters will burn a house or tear one up, Martin said. In fact, firefighters trained at the former K-mart building but were not allowed to damage it.

Martin said firefighters trained on search techniques and using ropes.

The Fire Department works hand-in-hand with the city Code Enforcement Department to obtain necessary permits for buildings set for demolition.

The Fire Department has a waiting list for future training sessions like that at the Ryan’s building.

Any property owner willing to allow the department to conduct training can contact Martin at nicholas.martin@salsiburync.gov or at 704-638-4465.

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