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Jailers go through safety training

Some of the staff at the McDuffie County Detention Center got a workout last week.


Jailer Ken Zaydel, who led the class for his fellow employees, shows Millicent McClain how to extinguish a grease fire.

Ken Zaydel - a McDuffie County jailer who also works with the Martinez Fire Department in Columbia County - coordinated a day of training for his fellow jailers.

Last Thursday's "Life and Safety Training" focused on what the jailers and other staff would do in the event of an evacuation.

"This training is vital to ensure the safe and professional operations of not only the Detention Center but to the Sheriff's Office as a whole," said Sheriff's Maj. Ronnie Williamson. "This training that the employees go through is taught by a fire and rescue professional. It not only prepares our employees for emergencies in the Detention Center, but they have the ability to perform search and rescue operations in our community in the event of a man-made or natural disaster."

The class was part classroom instruction, including detailed review of jail policy and evacuation routes.

The class also learned how to use fire extinguishers to put out a grease fire. The class culminated with a search-and-rescue activity that required employees to wear a black-out facemask, use an oxygen tank and feel their way to a "lost" prisoner during a simulated fire.

Maj. Williamson said the fire class was just part of the training scheduled for Sheriff's Department employees over the next few months. Up next is CPR, followed by infectious control techniques.


McDuffie jailers Imogene Crowder (left) and Audria Sims drag a dummy down a hall in the jail during a search and rescue exercise Thursday.

"The training is performed on a yearly basis and is attended by the cooks, clerks, detention officers, deputies and supervisors," Maj. Williamson said.


Mr. Zaydel leads a training class Thursday in Thomson.


Mr. Zaydel puts out a grease fire.

Web posted on Thursday, July 20, 2006

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