At the end of June, students in the Fire Academy at Sampson Community College completed the Fire Control class. The class is split into classroom learning and practical activities where the students executed and extinguished a live burn. One of those burns took place on June 28 in Clinton, where students had to demonstrate their ability to control flammable gas fires. The gas needed to complete the burn was donated by Parker Gas Company, who provided over 800 gallons of gas. 

The students completed an LP Gas Burn, a pretty common type of fire, or gas leak, so the skill is imperative for students to learn early but is also a practical skill. LP Gas, also known as Liquified Petroleum Gas, is what’s commonly used to light a grill.

Dominic Orlando, Fire Academic Instructor, says that students are expected to work together by advancing two hose lines toward the fire, controlling the leak, and thus extinguishing the fire.

“These types of training burns are used as a skill and confidence builder for rookie firefighters. It also teaches firefighters team-building skills and to rely on one another,” Orlando stated.

SCC Fire Academy students completed the burn with the help of the Clinton FD and Parker Gas Company. (Courtesy Photo)

Clinton Fire Department also provided three fire apparatuses, the manpower to operate them, and a whole crew as a back-up. Orlando says without the help of the Clinton Fire Department, and Parker Gas Company, completing the burn would have been nearly impossible. Both entities allowed Fire Academy students to complete this significant training.

Sampson County has one paid fire department, whereas the rest are volunteer stations, but students can make their way to neighboring counties for paid opportunities. Potential students must be at least 16 years old and a high school diploma or GED required if over 18. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license, and have passed a physical examination, but there are no residency requirements.

For more information about Fire Academy at Sampson Community College, contact Aleta Whaley at

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.