A Gastonia firefighter is being recognized for his proficiency at a week-long survival and safety course.
Dalton Jenkins is the Gastonia Fire Department’s first recipient of the Sandy Powell Memorial Award, named after a firefighter killed in the line of duty while working for the McLeansville Fire Department in 2002.
The award was announced at the North Carolina State Breathing Equipment School, a week-long course held at Gaston College, where dozens of firefighters from across the state gather to learn safety and survival techniques.
The firefighters were put through a barrage of physical and mental obstacles testing their ability to react in real-life scenarios with the fire department. Drills included bringing air packs to trapped firefighters and rescuing them by taking them down stairs and other confined spaces and through windows.
“It’s one of the toughest out there but you learn the most from it,” said Jenkins, 20, who works out of Fire Station 1 on Myrtle School Road.