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Equipment Donation Strengthens ECC Fire Program

Danny Butler, coordinator of Fire and Rescue Training at Edgecombe Community College, is shown with a breathing apparatus donated by the Enfield Fire Department. The department donated sixteen breathing apparatuses, which will be used at ECC for training firefighters.

When Danny Butler took over in 2019 as Edgecombe Community College’s coordinator of Fire and Rescue Training, he set a goal to establish a full-fledged fire academy at the college by 2023.

That dream recently moved a little closer to fruition when the Enfield Fire Department donated sixteen breathing apparatuses for use in training firefighters. The donation included a bottle and mask pack, regulator, buddy breathing system, and a PASS alarm system.

“We are grateful to the Enfield Fire Department,” Butler says. “The equipment donation was a huge step for us in building our program.”

Butler has been a firefighter for more than three decades, and he’s been an instructor at the college since 2010. Edgecombe Community College teaches all of the fire classes found in a certified fire academy, but the classes are not structured like an academy.

“Right now, we depend on fire departments,” he says. “We go to them, and we use their equipment. I want to have classes here on campus. Hopefully, in the next two years we can start our own academy.”

Butler also wants to establish a fire academy at the high school level through the Edgecombe Early College High School, which is located on ECC’s Tarboro campus. Students would enroll in their junior year of high school, and they would finish the program by graduation. For ECC students, Butler expects to offer the program over a nine-month period.

“Right now, the biggest challenge is acquiring the equipment,” he explains. “We still need axes, pry bars, poles, hoses, and nozzles.”

That’s why Butler is so thankful for the Enfield Fire Department donation. When the department upgraded to new equipment recently, officials contacted area schools and fire departments to see if anyone was interested in the used equipment. Butler was pleased to accept about half of the equipment that was available.

“All of the equipment is in good shape,” he says. “Even though we will use it for training, it could still be used in a fire.”

In addition to the Enfield donation, the Tarboro Rotary Club donated $6,000 to Edgecombe Community College’s Fire and Rescue Training program. Butler says these funds will be used to purchase an equipment trailer and fire props for training.

“I am hopeful that we can launch an academy in the next two years,” he adds. “We have some equipment, and we have several instructors on board, so we’ve made a good start.”

To learn more about fire and rescue training at ECC, please contact Danny Butler at (252) 618-6607 or