The Training Division will make every effort to communicate firefighter recruit academy timelines to applicants as far in advance as possible. It is not always possible to know the availability of outside resources or instructors until competing priorities are confirmed, outside resources are released and made available.
The classroom/academic coursework is self paced with assignments that are due prior to specific dates in the training schedule. The dates in the schedule are spanned wide enough to allow Recruits the flexibility to do assignments on their own schedule providing they are self disciplined to completing the assignments on time. Assignments include reading textbooks, watching video based demonstrations of skills and recorded lectures, taking timed quiz’s and tests and reviewing topic specific papers. Recruits should plan on committing between 8 and 10 hours a week for academic assignments and testing. All fire district personnel are expected to maintain a ‘B’ average or better on all graded assignments for both fire and EMS coursework. Additional content and opportunity is usually available for personnel who find some topic matter difficult. It is up to the Recruit to initiate this conversation with the Training Officer.
The hands on portion or skills days are typically scheduled on Saturdays to meet most of the applicant populations availability. Saturday’s are typically scheduled three weeks apart, avoiding recognized holiday weekends. Skills days are typically all day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. allowing for breaks and a lunch period. There are occasions when a skills day runs late due to the size of a class or other unforeseen factors. Skills days are done rain or shine but may be cancelled and rescheduled due to snow, ice or generally freezing conditions for safety reasons. We recognize that not everyone has Saturday’s available. Depending on your particular situation options may be available. You should realize that the availability of personnel, outside resources or outside training props cannot always be obtained for the needs of one individual, however some resources are acquired for a range of dates allowing some accommodation if known far enough in advance.
Recruits who miss skills days due to family emergencies, illness or personal injuries will need to make time available soon afterwards to make up those skills days and hours before completing the academy. As the Recruit Academy nears the end of the schedule, opportunity to schedule make up skills time becomes more scarce. Recruits unable to complete the academy due to a lengthy illness or personal injury may be recycled to the next scheduled academy. Beginning near the middle of the academy schedule, Recruits will begin attending regular skills drills on Tuesday nights with Volunteer personnel.
Basic skills testing is performed at the end of the firefighter 1 level before live fire training exercises. Recruits will physically demonstrate learned skills practiced on previously scheduled skills days and Tuesday drill nights. Firefighter 1 academics and other online coursework are required to be completed before the live fire training exercise date. If a Recruit fails any skills tests during skills testing days, a retest can usually be offered the same day depending on how many failures occurred and size of the class. If the Recruit fails two or less skills a second time the same date, a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) will be offered that must be completed with retesting within 90 days. Failing any skills at the end of the PIP will result in dismissal.
Recruits who complete the firefighter 1 level and other online coursework, attend required skills days, demonstrate basic skills competencies during skills testing will attend the live fire training exercise that completes the firefighter 1 coursework. After successfully completing the live fire training exercise, Recruits will be assigned to a station, first level supervisor and allowed to begin running calls on district apparatus. Recruits will continue to complete the required academy coursework related to the firefighter 2 level.
Recruits who complete the firefighter 1 level coursework and accumulate 216 hours of time working with career firefighters on duty will promote to the rank of Firefighter and may apply for state ‘certification’ at the NFPA Firefighter 1 level. If you have additional questions related to training requirements or academics, you may email the Training Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.