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Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Firehouse Facts |

Well-Known Firefighter Training Centers in the United States

If you are passionate about firefighting and would like to serve as a firefighter, then you really should not ignore firefighter training. What many people still don’t know is that firefighting has grown into a valuable segment of expertise; with most fire departments demanding firefighter aspirants to have at least a college degree and some form of certification before being seriously considered for placement. While no formal education is necessary to apply for a position in the firefighting department, having the right training and documentation can provide you with an advantage over the competition and prepare you for administrative or leadership posts in the fire service. While not all colleges offer formal education courses in fire science, local fire departments do provide comprehensive training to their employees.

Firefighters are always called upon during emergency situations such as road collisions and fire breakouts among others because they have the skills and resourcefulness to get things under control calmly and quickly. The community is also working closely with local fire services to heighten people’s vigilance on how to stop emergency situations from arising. At the Fire Academy, you will undergo training on how to respect and communicate effectively with all people regardless of tribe, age, race or affiliation. While at the Fire Academy, you will be attending practical teaching sessions, lectures, workouts and drills among other forms of firefighter training to strengthen your confidence and grow your expertise. In addition to acquiring new techniques, you will also get introduced to various equipment that will be useful when responding to fire emergencies and most importantly when performing your duties as a firefighter.

There are many ways that you can acquire the training and education that you need to become a firefighter.  While one might be interested in a college degree for firefighters, another might want to attend the fire academy, while another might prefer enrolling in some online firefighting classes not to mention firefighter apprenticeships. All of these are feasible ways of achieving the education requirements for firefighters. If you are interested in developing a career as a firefighter, pick the Fire Academy that will give you the finest firefighter training and will nurture you to become an excellent and competent firefighter. Here are some well-known Firefighter Training Centers in the United States that might interest you:

 

  •    US National Fire Academy

 

The US National Fire Academy headquarters based in Emmitsburg, Maryland serves as a central point for the specialized training of firefighters. The US National Fire Academy is a center of a highly organized educational system and training network for the entire county fire officers.

Once you enroll at the US National Fire Academy, you will acquire the necessary skills at no cost as there are no tuition fees charged for all courses and all course materials are freely provided by the federal government.

 

The US National Fire Academy works to increase the ability of firefighters to deal more efficiently with fire and other similar emergencies. The courses offered at the US National Fire Academy include a large assortment of subjects intended to entice a large number of firefighters across the country. Training sessions are designed in such a way that they can be useful for all firefighters, from rural volunteer fire units to fully equipped city fire departments.

 

  •    TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field

The TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field offers realistic and practical training for its fire officers. This Fire Academy’s various training units provide emergency guidelines in rescue missions, firefighting, harmful materials, emergency medical services, marine, and aircraft.

The key TEEX programs comprise:

  •    Infrastructure and safety
  •    Fire and rescue
  •    Economic/Workforce development
  •    Law enforcement
  •    Homeland security

TEEX ability to access a broad range of evolving research and technical knowledge is matchless. The TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field also provides hosting services for their web-based courses and technology support. They also offer translation services and bilingual training for their students.

 

  •    DFW Fire Training Research Center

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Fire Training Research Center has been providing revolutionary Aircraft Rescue Firefighting and operational training services in a state-of-the-art learning environment since 1995. The DFW Fire Training Research Center employs a blend of researched multi-lingual curriculum and creative digital activities not to mention practical applications during training. This way, students acquire cutting-edge firefighting skills and information in a high-tech training facility.

 

  •    Fire Training Academy

The Fire Training Academy is dedicated to meeting the needs of an intricate and vibrant fire service by offering programs of the utmost value in the US. Currently, the Academy offers a broad range of fire-related course programs ranging from entry-level to command-level management officers. The Academy also offers programs in technical training through partnering with the US National Fire Academy. Courses are specially designed to meet standards set by the National Fire Protection Association and to also assist the local fire units in complying with mandatory training guidelines put in place by the relevant authorities.

 

All firefighters get excellent training before getting hired. Generally, a new hire in a large fire department usually gets trained for several weeks at the department’s fire academy even though they might have acquired the same skills elsewhere. Through classroom education together with practical training, new employees study:

  •    Firefighting procedures
  •    Local building regulations
  •    Lethal materials control
  •    Emergency medical processes (First Aid and CPR)
  •    Fire prevention

They are also taught how to use rescue and firefighting equipment such as:

  •    Ladders
  •    Axes
  •    Fire extinguishers
  •    Chainsaws

 

After efficiently completing training, the firefighting trainees are usually assigned to various fire companies, where they go through probation for some time.

 

Conclusion

Firefighting is one profession that calls for a high-level of determination and competence for people who choose it as a profession. As a firefighter, you will be required to have the nerve and stamina to lay your life on the line for the sake of others. You will also need to sacrifice long hours of study and also work for extensive periods during practical training so as to develop a high level of efficacy and proficiency. If you are prepared to make the commitment, firefighting can indeed be one greatly rewarding and gratifying career; however, it is also an incredibly challenging profession.

 

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2017 in Firefighting methods, Firehouse Facts |

Ways That Volunteer Firemen Are Called to a Fire

Recruiting brave women and men to endanger their lives while safeguarding their community may seem like a great job, but when you throw in that it’s a volunteer position, it may be difficult to convince some to join. It isn’t breaking news that volunteering in the firefighting field is decreasing nationwide. Many factors are playing a role. Okay, okay, I admit. You can put some blame on the tough economic times. People who used to volunteer in their off-time find themselves working longer hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet, leaving little or no room for volunteering as firefighters.

So how do you go about it? How do you recruit new people to join a local department without throwing rainbows and unicorns their way? Here are a few suggestions:

Make the Application Process Quick

When a fire department creates volunteer firefighter applications, it’s important to make the application process speedy. While ensuring the process is swift, it’s also essential to be thorough. Keeping the volunteer firefighter application process fast ensures interested volunteers don’t lose interest during a long application process. If volunteer fire department application requires field eligibility tests, you may want to consider them. Not only does this type of testing allow you to determine the physical fitness of new members, but it also allows the applicants to understand their own physical limitations.

Ensure Volunteer Firefighters Know what is Expected of Them

When recruiting volunteer firefighters, it’s important to be completely honest about what is expected from a volunteer firefighter. Making sure interested volunteers understand what the requirements of volunteering at a local department requires guarantees that you will get volunteers who are willing and ready to make the commitment and sacrifices needed to have a successful department. The best way to make sure interested volunteers know what is expected of them is to train often.

As a volunteer firefighter recruit, you’ll be expected to:

  • Put yourself in life-threatening situations, such as crawling through tight spaces, going into burning buildings, and entering other unsafe environments.
  • Keep a clear mind in life or death situations
  • Be composed when assisting traumatic events like car crash fatalities and injuries.

Highlight Opportunities for Growth

Potential firefighter volunteers may not know about the many benefits the fire service can offer, such as the public service scholarship program and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). Departments should highlight all the different specialized skills and benefits fire training brings. To retain volunteer firefighters, departments create recognition programs to make them feel challenged and appreciated by rewarding their hard work.

Invest in Online Engagement

Recent studies indicate that most people look for job options online. Consequently, fire departments need to make themselves visible online along with doing community recruitment events. Departments can use social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to advertise the advantages of firefighting, show what firefighters do, highlight individual and department accomplishments, and enlighten potential volunteers on how they can join the fire service.

An organized website is also a useful way to attract potential volunteers. The website must be user-friendly and easy to navigate. Information about recruitment events and volunteer opportunities should be listed on the homepage. This is also the ideal place to upload video clips and post testimonials to further promote volunteering.

Encourage Current Members to Train New Members

Irrespective of your location, if you walk into any fire department across the country, you’re liable to find an old timer. With a raspy voice, sooty helmet and gray hair, the old-time firefighters are the ones everyone looks up to. Furthermore, you don’t get to be a veteran without doing some things right. The best way to ensure volunteer firefighters understand the expectations and procedures of volunteer fire departments is to have veterans train the newbies.

Create an Explorer Program

To lure volunteer firefighters, volunteer fire departments need to have strong Explorer programs. The Explorer program is started for girls and boys, ages fourteen to twenty that have an interest in obtaining a firefighter certification in the future. Devoting time and energy to grow this program in your community could provide you with a steady stream of volunteers who are really interested in becoming volunteer firefighters for life.

Brand Your Fire Department

“Branding” is more than just a symbol or name. It summarizes the message you want the community to think or feel about your fire department. Building a strong brand for you, determine the personality and identify your distinctive niche you want your company to convey.

Seek a Professional’s Help

Because of fire departments’ busy schedules, firefighting employees might not have the time for recruitment and marketing. Hire a professional that recognizes budgetary limitations, understands the concept of marketing and recruitment for fire departments, and that is enjoyable to work with. And don’t forget to ask to see samples of work they have done for other fire departments to see if their marketing strategies are right for you.

Ways to Serve Your Local Fire Department

If becoming a volunteer firefighter isn’t for you, there are numerous ways you can still help your local fire department.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Teaching fire safety to children
  • Bookkeeping
  • Installing smoke alarms in area homes
  • Maintaining the department’s social media and website
  • Cooking for the on-duty staff
  • Executing home safety checks
  • Distributing disaster preparedness materials

Conclusion

Attracting and retaining good volunteer firefighters is among the problems facing fire departments today. Volunteers are one of the most economical solutions to the snowballing cost of providing quality fire protection to communities. Effective community fire protection depends on the ability of fire departments to attract, recruit, train and retain these key individuals.

There are countless ways to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. However, the volunteer agency should make sure that it’s not extending benefits that could lead to a loss of the volunteer status. Loss of such a status could result in lawsuits, loss of disability protections and loss of life insurance offered to volunteer firefighters. Check with your attorney to determine whether any retention or recruitment program may result in a loss of the volunteer status.

 

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Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Firehouse Facts, Historical and Museums |

How to Arrange a Firehouse Tour for Children and Adults

Fire station tours are an excellent opportunity for public relations and public fire education for the fire department. A Firefighter is involved in the business of saving lives, whether it entails response to a fire after it has occurred or, more importantly, before it occurs. The truth is that we’re far more likely to save kids’ lives through fire safety education and the knowledge of stopping or taking proper action during a fire incident than by the actual rescue. A fire station tour is a great opportunity to teach valuable life safety skills to visitors and for children and adults to learn that firefighters do so much more than fight fires.

Make Sure You have Enough Chaperones

When you bring children into the fire department, keep in mind that they are not maintained to be child-friendly. The kids will need close supervision, so that they don’t wander off on their own to inspect a dangerous area. Ensure children understand that in the case of an emergency, firefighters will have to leave the station even if a tour is in progress.

Helpful Tips for Children Learned at a Visit to the Fire Station:

Learn 911    

Children should be able to dial 911 and say their address and full names as soon as they can speak. Kids quickly pick up technological skills, so pushing phone buttons to them is second nature! Make them understand that they only ever call that number if somebody is in danger, including if they see a fire.

Practice Fire Drills

Have you had a fire drill in your own home? Do your kids know what to do in case there is a fire in the house? Ask the kids to push the test button on the smoke detectors, so that they can learn what they sound like and what measures to take if they ever hear that sound. After your kids realize what the alarm noise is, they need to practice exiting the house as quickly as possible.

Arrange a Meeting Place

It’s important to have a pictorial presentation of your family’s fire escape plan. Indicate two ways to escape from all rooms and determine your chosen meeting place if everyone needs to evacuate. It can be any place that is far enough from the house. Remember to schedule dates for the family fire drills throughout the year so that everyone knows what to do.

No Hiding

One of the most helpful recommendations for children is to NEVER hide if there is a fire. Instead, they should get out right away if there is smoke or fire. Children should not go behind furniture, in the closet, under the bed, etc.  They must understand that they should never go back into the house if there’s a fire, even for a favorite toy or pet.

Exposure to Firefighters in Fire Suits

In a fire, it’s important for the kids to run towards the firefighter, and not run away from them and hide. This can be learned through regular tours to the fire station.  Children should know how firefighters look in their full gear.  The firefighter’s “space alien” look can be scary and intimidating for kids. The more exposure children have to firemen and what they look like, the less likely they will be frightened should they ever have to see one in your home during a fire rescue.

Practice Stop, Drop & Roll

Little kids love to practice action steps and memorize patterns, so this is a simple one to make into a fun game for their safety. Teach kids that if their clothes catch fire, they should: Stop! Drop to the ground! Cover their faces and Roll until the fire is out. This technique should be practiced often so that it will become an automatic response in an emergency situation.

Please be aware of the following for fire station tours:

  • Recommended group size is thirty individuals.
  • Children must be at least five years old.
  • A release of liability form must be completed for each visitor.
  • All fire stations are on call status, even during the station tour. Therefore, if an emergency is received at the station, the tour may be canceled early to respond to the emergency call.
  • Visits are a maximum of one hour.
  • Transportation must remain available on site as tours may be canceled or interrupted on short notice because of emergency call outs.
  • These tours are meant to be educational in nature. Consequently, facilities to accommodate food, drinks or parties are not offered.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to mount or handle equipment any fire apparatus unless supervised and approved by fire personnel.

Additional Tips

If you there is a fire pole at the station, it may be fun to let the children see one of the firefighters slide down it. Under no circumstances should you let the kids do the same. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why.

Formal tours should be scheduled in advance and coordinated through the appropriate office (Training, administrative, planning, etc.) whenever possible, and groups should be limited to a manageable size if a tour must be terminated due to an emergency response. During times of elevated security threat levels, or immediately following an incident where hose and tools need to be tested, inventoried, and cleaned, firehouse tours should be rescheduled to a later time and date.

Conclusion

Fire departments often hold open houses as part of their community education programs. If a private tour cannot be planned, ask when the next open house event is scheduled. These are often more fun than privately arrange visits as they last longer and there are more firefighters on hand to answer questions. The community events mean that there is more firefighting equipment available for the public to look at. The scheduled open houses are also more reliable since arrangements have already been made for other fire departments in the area to act in response to distress calls and the trip is less likely to be canceled.

 

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Firehouse Facts, Historical and Museums |

History of the Fire Pole

Admittedly, nothing wins the spirit of a fire station than the idea of firefighters sliding down a fire pole to rush to an emergency and save lives and property. In an occupation where every second counts, the fire pole has given firefighters that crucial edge in response time for over a century now.

Firefighters commonly have living areas on the upper floors of fire stations.  When an emergency call comes in, they have to move down to the trucks as fast as they can. In the early days, sliding chutes or spiral staircases were popular, but not exceptionally fast. The fire pole, on the other hand, is a very fast way to get downstairs and it helps firefighter to speed up their response to emergencies. To use a fire pole, a firefighter interlocks his/her arms and legs around the pole and uses his/her legs to manage the speed of the descend.

Did you know that firefighters save about twenty-five seconds in response time by sliding down a fire man’s pole to respond to a distress call? Solid evidence indicates that sliding down a pole is faster than using inefficient spiral stair cases or sliding chutes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the first pole was set up in New York in April 1878. In a typical fire station, firefighting horses and wagons (and later fire trucks) are on the first floor while the upper floors are for sleeping and recreation.

David Kenyon of Chicago’s Engine Company 21 invented the fire pole to help firefighters quickly reach the ground floor. Before the fire pole was invented, firefighters were solely dependent on inefficient spiral staircases or sliding chutes. Kenyon realized the distinct transportation method when firefighter George Reid slid down the wooden pole typically used for transporting hay to the hayloft. David Kenyon managed to convince the chief of the fire department to have poles installed in all fire stations.

 

Facts about Fire

  • Did you know that firefighters respond to an alarm of a fire somewhere in the United States every sixteen seconds?
  • More than four thousand Americans die fire-related deaths in the United States. Most fires could have been prevented by practicing proper fire safety and having fire alarms.
  • Did you know that more than sixty firefighters die annually in the line of duty?
  • Believe it or not, candles caused more about a thousand home fires and eighty home fire deaths between 2009 and 2013. They were also responsible for nine hundred injuries and three million in property damage.
  • Did you know that cooking is ranked as the leading cause of fires in the home? In fact, four of every ten home fires start in the kitchen.
  • Fire related incidents are potentially devastating, but fortunately, they’re easy to prevent, especially if you are aware of the most common fire hazards and take steps to combat them
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Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Firehouse Facts |

Fire Stations – Smallest to Biggest

With pride and dedication to fire departments where one has pledged to serve wholly and to which they would risk their lives, inevitably comparison between facilities ensues. Some stations are proud to be small and efficient. While others have no qualms about building grandiose block-long buildings. Of course factors such as the size, scope, and varying possible contingencies a station’s district might present play into what a particular station needs to look like and what it needs to house. (not to mention the city’s money supply, although some cities can boast that their station was built primarily with donated funds and volunteers staff, but that’s another blog post). So, let’s highlight some of the world’s smallest and largest fire stations (the buildings themselves, not the entire department).

In 2012 the Guinness World Record Academy named the 13′ by 20′ fire station in Goathland, Yorkshire, UK as the world’s smallest. The solo stone garage houses a fire fighting Land Rover outfitted with fire fighting tools. The nine volunteers who run the station include a youth worker, a salesman, and a farmer. The group, aged 20s – 30s, race to their mini-station in just under 4 minutes of an alarm sounding. They eloquently handle the most common emergencies in their district: house fires, car crashes and even infernos on the nearby moors. The land for the tiny station was donated by a local resident, but the building itself only contains a desk and a filing cabinet (aside from supplies and tools of course). With no running water, the volunteers bring their own beverages and have a key for the nearby public toilet. They have to carry water containers and their hoses on the Land Rover, which presents weight problems for the vehicle. The station handles between 25-50 callouts per year. The district they cover is quite large but the human population is low.

There is no official ‘largest’ fire house on record, but it wouldn’t be a long shot to give the title to Fire Station 1 (Feuerwache 1 ) in the district of Eckenheim, Germany. The scope of their coverage includes ten districts which contains the city of Frankfurt, massive motorways, a rail tunnel and rail system, and assistance to the Frankfurt airport. With at least 60 bay doors (the doors appear to be in the front and at the rear of the bays, giving the trucks the option to park inside the inner courtyard area) the building is absolutely mammoth. The station contains ladder trucks, large tank trucks, an aerosol vehicle, three different command vehicles, front loader construction vehicle, and a loader vehicle with a crane. It also looks like the facility is equipped for respiratory and environmental protection training.

The building was erected in 2003 and has a crew of twenty-five fire fighters on duty around the clock. Training areas and inspection zones are also in the facility. With such a large building maybe they have segways to get around?

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