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Somers Fire & Rescue Department, Training Session, Somers, Wisconsin
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. All Rights Reserved.
Somers Fire & Rescue Training Classroom
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson. All Rights Reserved.
The Training Division is responsible for the initial training of new recruits and on-going training and implementation of safety standards for all firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians within the Somers Fire & Rescue Department. The training environment is dynamic and ever changing, as numerous requirements continue to be mandated in emergency services by federal and state regulatory agencies. The Training Division strives to accomplish the mission of delivering quality training and safety programs in a cost effective manner to comply with established laws, regulations and standards.
Fire Suppression Training
- Alarm and Suppression Systems
- Apparatus & Equipment Deployment
- Carbon Monoxide Response
- Changing Technologies
- Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (all department apparatus)
- Fire Response and Tactics
- Flight for Life
- Ground Ladders
- Live Fire Exercises
- Rapid Intervention Air Pack Utilization
- Response area Familiarization
- Ropes and Knots
- SCBA Emergencies
- Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Emergencies
- Situational Evolutions
- Vehicle Extrication
- Water Supply
Emergency Medical Services Training
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Emergency Medical Technician Refresher
- EMT-Intermediate Refresher
- Infectious Disease
- Protocol Updates and Refresher
- Recruit Academy
- Skills Refresher
EMS State of Wisconsin License
It is the primary responsibility of the Training Division to develop and conduct Departmental training to review and expand member’s current knowledge base, consisting of both fire service and emergency medical fields. Though training is both informational and skill-building, it is required by the State of Wisconsin for EMS providers. The emergency medical aspect of the training helps members retain their State of Wisconsin EMS licenses. This is done by meeting a certain number of refresher hours and continuing education hours.
All licensed EMT
Basics must complete a minimum of 30 hours of refresher every two years, and the EMT- Intermediate 48 hours every two years. There is also the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), which has the same number of hours required for a refresher, but adds 48 hours of continuing education for all license levels. Also for EMS providers, there is the recertification of CPR for healthcare providers every two years which includes four additional hours of classroom and hands on experience and a written test. CPR is needed for all license levels to maintain their license. The EMT- Intermediates need, in addition to CPR an ACLS, recertification every two years to keep their license. ACLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support is an additional eight hours of classroom and hands-on training and a formal assessment.
Fire Service Training and Certification
The fire service aspect of training has no licensing level. Instead, the State of Wisconsin has a state certification program. The State requires any fire fighter who may enter a building fire be certified as a State Fire Fighter 1. This is a 96-hour course with a practical and written test at the end. In order to take and certify in any additional State certification the Fire Fighter 1 certification is required. It is the duty of the Training Division to ready all members not currently certified. This is done through regular monthly training as well as some one-on-one preparation. In addition to Firefighter 1, there are advanced certifications that members are required to obtain. Some examples would be Firefighter Two, Driver Operator, Hazmat, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse, Dive Team and Fire Officer.
Additional Training Requirements
The Training Division provides regular monthly training in which members are required to attend. There are a total of three dates for EMS training (set up to accomodate members who cannot attend one date, they have two more to chose from), and the same applies to fire training. These trainings are in addition to the above- mentioned license and certification hours. Trainings are about three or more hours in length, depending on the topic. Most trainings consist of classroom and hands-on work. For most members who are cross-staffed (EMT/fire fighters), this is an additional 48 hours of required department trainings they must attend a year in addition to paid-on-call shifts.
With monthly trainings, the Training Division puts a minimum of eight hours of preparation time into each class. This consists of lesson plans, power points, student handouts, hands on practical set-ups, securing a location or equipment needed for the trainings as well as research for the lesson. This is an average of 192-plus hours the Training Division puts into yearly preparation time for monthly trainings. This does not include the training of new probationary members. There is a, 18-week program in place for new members to familiarize them with the Somers Fire & Rescue SOG’s and equipment. Each class is one day a week, eight hours in length. This again is 144 hours of training that the Training Division is in charge of.
Also, the Training Division and full-time Officers and senior members put time into miscellaneous training sessions. An example of this would be working with new pump operators, fire fighters EMTs or members currently taking a class on an individual basis to perfect their skills.
(Source: Information provided by Aaron Strom, Training Officer, Somers Fire & Rescue Department, Training Division)