Some of the staff at the McDuffie County Detention Center got a workout last week.
Ken Zaydel, a McDuffie County jailer who also works with Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue in Columbia County, coordinated a day of training for his fellow jailers.
Thursday's Life and Safety Training focused on what the jailers and other staffers would do during 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," sheriff's Maj. Ronnie Williamson said. "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 training was part classroom instruction, including a 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 face mask, use an oxygen tank and feel their way to a "lost" prisoner during a simulated fire.
Williamson said the fire class was just part of the training scheduled for sheriff's employees during the next few months. Up next is CPR, followed by infectious-control techniques.
"The training is performed on a yearly basis and is attended by the cooks, clerks, detention officers, deputies and supervisors," Williamson said.
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