Wythe County Hosts Emergency Driving Course for First Responders


WYTHEVILLE, Va. – A capacity class of twenty-eight individuals – all wishing to become emergency responders – participated in a state sanctioned emergency vehicle operator’s course [EVOC] this past weekend at Wytheville Community College.

Completion of the two day training program is a requirement for any person interested in becoming a first responder, including law enforcement officers, fire and rescue personnel, as well as those seeking a career in emergency management.

Participants sat through eight hours of classroom presentation on Saturday, as Ikey Davidson, Wythe County Emergency Services Coordinator, lectured the class on the subject of state laws pertaining to emergency vehicles and provided students with safe driving instructions.

The following day, Davidson was joined by Virginia Department of Emergency Management personnel as the class was taken outside, where a temporary road course had been constructed on the campus’ upper parking lot.

Students weaved and raced through the cones in a wide range of vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances and heavy duty vehicles.

The training course was made possible thanks to a grant secured from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Instructor Ikey Davidson said the class was an overwhelming success, noting that dozens of people had to be turned away due to reaching capacity.

“We had people from as far away as Newport News calling, wanting to know if there was space available in the class,” said Davidson, adding, “Interest in the class was so impressive, we’re looking at trying to host a similar class next month.”

Persons interested in registering for future EVOC classes are encouraged to call Davidson at the following number: 276-223-4521.

According to Davidson, the class could not have been possible without the generous support of community leaders and organizations, including Wytheville Community College, as well as the several
Wythe County rescue and fire departments who both promoted the event and donated their vehicles to be used in the training session.