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RCC to be set ablaze with live fire exercises, training, and more during 50th Anniversary Fire & Rescue College

Get ready to be set ablaze this February at Robeson Community College. 

Robeson Community College is calling all firefighters and other first responders to take part in the 50th Anniversary Southeastern Fire & Rescue College that will take place February 7 to February 11. The event promises to be as exciting as it is educational, as smoke, fire, and explosions will fill the air at the Emergency Training Center as first responders train together through simulations and live fire exercises. 

With classes that offer hands-on training in bombs, explosives, booby traps, hazardous materials or fireground ops, this conference will live up to all expectations with learning opportunities that are action-packed as the college marks 50 years in training fire and rescue personnel. 

“This is a very special year for us,” stated Eric Freeman, the executive vice president. “We are so proud and excited to be celebrating 50 years of excellence in firefighter and rescue training. This annual event has helped train thousands of firefighters across North Carolina and beyond. It’s training that has saved countless lives and continues to make a difference in our communities.”

The conference started in 1974, as an idea to promote fire and rescue training in Southeastern North Carolina. Since that time, it has become the premier training seminar in the State. The Southeast Fire-Rescue College has changed over the years, offering new training, as emergency services has evolved with new technologies and as lessons have been learned from various emergency calls and tragic events involving first responders, including those lessons learned from September 11. 

According to Robert Ivey, the director of emergency services, firefighters in North Carolina are required to complete 36 hours of training each year to stay current with the latest technology and methods, which is why this training is offered. 

“The practical training courses are designed to make first responders think fast on their feet,” stated Ivey. “In real life, as a first responder, you have to make split second decisions and this is training that they can fall back on during those situations that may save their life and the lives of others.” 

“We offer certifications, but if an individual does not want to test but just receive continuing education credits to improve their skills or just as a refresher, they can opt to do that in all of our courses,” stated Ivey. 

The 2024 conference will offer training opportunities in Technical Rescue Machinery and Ag Rescue, Hazardous Materials Operations, Fire Officer, Mobile Water Supply, Driver Operator Certification, NIMS training and more. 

With state-of-the-art equipment, Ivey says that the training program at RCC is very robust and offers a unique experience for first-responders that they may not find elsewhere.

“We have a rail car, a cargo container, and burn towers that we set fire to,” stated Ivey. 

Last year, the fire and rescue conference experienced a 27% growth, with 414 first responders in attendance. Officials hope to see even more register for the 2024 conference, as they celebrate the hallmark golden anniversary.

“The need for firefighters is great,” stated Ivey. “I hope we can get as many first responders registered for this event. We hope to see everyone in February.” 

If you would like to register for the 2024 Fire Conference at RCC, please contact Robert Ivey at 910-272-3329 or Information is also available online at





Fire and Rescue Conference 2022