Townville Strong training course brings firefighters and first r - FOX Carolina 21

Townville Strong training course brings firefighters and first responders together

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TOWNVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Nearly 6 months have passed since the Townville Elementary School shooting shook the small town to its core, but through it all, the community wants to show that they're Townville strong. 

"This comes from the heart. These guys are my brothers in blood. I carry that scar, I will for the rest of my life. It sort of ripped open my heart and I will cry tears every time I think about these guys. They're the best ones in the world," said Dwayne Johnson, owner of Townville Station. 

Townville Elementary student, Jacob Hall was shot and killed when a 14 year old opened fire in the school playground on September 28. Hall was just 6 years old. 

It's a day the town will never forget, but also one they'll always remember, for the love and support that surrounded them that day.

"Last year we all experienced a tremendous tragedy in our neighborhood with the school shooting. We had so many of the first responders from surrounding communities that came down to help," said Johnson.

Dwayne Johnson and his wife Traci own Townville Station and helped organize a training course to give back to the first responders that assisted the Townville Fire Department and Fork Rescue Squad last September.

"So many multiple agencies responded that day. There's definitely a need that we all probably need to train more with each other," said Mark Bryant, Assistant Chief of Townville Fire Department.

First repsonders from across the Upstate are coming together to practice their rescue skills this weekend. The second-annual Townville Strong Training course brings together multiple fire departments, from across county lines, to participate in extrication training.

"When you get a bunch of departments in from across the Upstate, you can really learn what works or doesn't work, or maybe we can do something better. Everybody has their own way and you can always learn," said Justin McGill, Assistant Chief of Homeland Park Fire Department.

The training course has a dozen totaled cars,broken down school buses and a logging truck. Firefighters can practice their rescue skills and what it would be like in an emergency situation. Most importantly, the agencies get to experience what it's like to work together..

"There's no district lines the way I see it. Yes, there's geographical areas that we cover, but basically when something happens those lines go away. Everybody responds together. That just enhances our capabilities across the board," said Bryant.

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