The Buncombe County Public Safety Training Center, located in Woodfin, recently announced that Eric Rogers would be serving as the Training Coordinator for the facility.
Rogers, who is currently the Deputy Chief of the Weaverville Fire Department, has had an extensive career, which can be characterized by this simple statement: “The better trained your firefighters are, the better care they can give to the citizens. That’s priceless.”
He began his career in emergency response when he joined the Reems Creek Fire Department as a volunteer, with hopes to become a paramedic. One night, as he was responding to a fire, “the fire bug bit me,” Rogers added jokingly, “it was all down hill from there.”
In October, 1989, he was hired by the Weaverville Fire Department, where he has been ever since. “I’ve had an excellent career here. The town has been good to me along with the fire department. Seen a lot of things come and go. We have upgraded our equipment, our apparatus, our experience.” “[We moved to] a new station, something I thought I’d never see in my career. We have a 105 foot ladder truck settin’ in the building, heavy rescue truck settin’ in our building, never thought that I’d see those, along with I never thought I’d see a Buncombe County Training Center,” he said.
Rogers has been involved in helping the fire department attain their heavy rescue certification, as well as their high angle and surface water rescue certifications. “These are things I’m extremely proud to be a part of.”
With a myriad of various certifications, Rogers credits his need to continue his education constantly. “Everything boils back to training,” he said. “Even to this day, I’m still in school. Regardless of the position you are in, whether you’re a two week ‘proby’ or a forty year fire chief, you should still be in school, doing something. You should still be in school educating and wanting to further your education.”
With his move to the Buncombe County Public Safety Training Center, Rogers has a vision for what to expect. “I want to see the best trained firemen possible.” He added “It’s all about the citizens. And giving the best care possible to that person. We see people in their worst case, if we can make a small difference, then we’ve succeeded.” He adds, “I’m ready to take that challenge on. “One of my goals is to have the best facility to train each person, whether it be fire, EMS, or police to assist in their training to the best of our capabilities so everybody comes home.” Some of Roger’s long term goals include eventually holding a fire college and one day, drawing personnel to train from all over the state. “These are things that are going to take some time,” adding that the first goal is to offer the best training “imaginable.”
Though he is shifting careers slightly, Rogers is not completely departing his fire station. “I am going to stay on here, part-time,” Rogers added. “And help out. This is my home.”