(BOP) - Last year, the Bureau's only female inmate fire brigade responded to a church fire in Alderson, West Virginia. With the assistance of the inmate firefighters, the three other responding fire crews were able to contain the fire to one room of the church, with only smoke and water damage to the remaining areas. Thanks to the quick actions of the skilled firefighting crew, the church was preserved.
The Alderson Federal Prison Camp (FPC) Federal Fire Department 25 provides firefighting services for the Camp, as well as being a backup for local volunteer fire departments in the community. The FPC trains an all-volunteer, all-female inmate fire brigade, and has been doing so for over 38 years. Each year, approximately 25 inmates are selected from the list of volunteers and assigned to the FPC Alderson Fire Department. They are screened for the program and receive the same training, instruction, and certifications required of volunteer fire fighters in the community. In addition to giving back to the community, inmates learn valuable skills that can assist them in making a successful transition back into the community.