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For the Rescues that perform the Tech rescue disclpines, How are members trained in the disclipes when they transfer in to the company. what continued or annual training do you recieve to keep up on your skills? Who does the training? Dept or priavte constultant

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Sandy,
The way we do it here is that every discipline (9) has a Fire Officer who manages it (under the supervision of the Captain) and then he assists 2 individuals on each shift/group to obtain instructor level training nationwide. That way each shift likely has a subject matter expert (SME) for each discipline and sometimes two SMEs on duty every shift. This system seems to work well because then prior experience/interest/knowledge can be utilized by the team. It also provides a level of consistency across all shifts and reduces the duplication of efforts. To give you a better break down, the board we post at the firehouse reads like this:
Dive: Lt. A, FF A, Back up FFa, FF B, Back up FFb, FF C, and Back up FFc
Trench: Lt. C, FF A, Back up FFa, FF B, Back up FFb, FF C, and Back up FFc
Swiftwater: Lt. B, etc, etc,.....

I hope you get the idea. Once we have these instructors inhouse on each shift it becomes a matter of keeping up the hours on duty and occasionally having the instructors go to outside organizations (FDTN, Rigging for Rescue, Rescue3, CMC Rescue, and etc. ) for further instructor development. We have a set number of hours for each discipline to maintain annually. I hope this helps. If it needs clarification please don't hesitate to ask.
As I mentioned n my other post we use a regional approach. All initial training and most continuing education are done off duty and members are paid overtime. Our region requires six annual team drills (24 hours). Initial training in the rope, confined space, trench and structural collapse is handled by our state and regional academies. We have eight courses required and two that are encouraged. Most are five days long.
When a member transfers into a Squad or a Rescue they are sent to our Technical Rescue School. This is an in house school that is run by a Capt. and a couple of Lts. The instructors are from different companies throughtout special ops. Each instructor has gone through the State train the trainer for each discipline. Each new member gets 3 wks of Rescue Tech and 2 wks of HazMat Tech. Then they will get 40 hrs. of each discipline i.e. trench, collapse, high angle, confined space, heavy rigging. Throuhout the year the school will run a couple of weeks of an advanced class for the disciplines. Each company goes thru a annual education day were they get a refresher on different topics. Continued training is done at a company level during day to day drills.
We are a small department with 37 members. Everyone is trained to technician level in all disilpines except swift water. With the size of our department this is essential for a proper response. Of course some members are stronger in some areas than others, and we still have some that feel that they are firefighters and that is all they should be required to do. Being the only full time department in our area we are tasked with being the area hazmat team also. our training schedule is horendous. trying to get required training done for all disiplines is always a problem. We seem to spend more and more time training and also have to maintain our fire inspections and public education responsibilitys.
Of the 8 Rescue Companies, 4 have a Technical Rescue specialty and 4 are Haz-Mat. We assign 4 personnel to each Rescue; 1-LT, 1-Apparatus Technician, and 2-Technicians. For the Technical Rescue companies, each member must complete a 290-hour course that incorporates Swiftwater Rescue Ops, Trench Rescue, Confined Space, Advanced Rope, and FEMA compliant SCT (Structural Collapse Technician.) Vehicle Extrication is also included. The course is given every other year. FF's take a promotional exam to be promoted to Technician.

The Technical Rescue program offers 3 drills of each discipline during the year. Trench, Rope, Con Space, and Structural. Each drill is offered 3 times - for each shift - every month. To maintain certification, every member must attend one drill in each discipline every year. Since these drills are offered on-duty, most make the majority of drills. Un-assigned personnel - those not working in Technical Rescue houses - are offered compensation, off-duty, for 4-drills a year.

The training is completed by department cadre.

Swiftwater Technician level courses, as well as Swiftwater Boat operator are also offered during the year.

There is also a Rescue Company School for roughly 30-students, offered every other year. A week long school focusing on extrication, suppression ops, and RIT. (Not mandatory)

Hazmat is a two-week school and has a mandatory 6-CEU minimum a year.
Most of our initial training is done by private contractor. We use the same one for all of our tech. rescue training, and have developed a very good relationship. Some of our staff also fills in as instructors for the company when they do awareness classes for industry, etc. Continued training is done a couple of times a month for each shift, with full scale drills with every member of the team at least twice each year. We are working on getting full scale drills on a quarterly basis. Our Rescue Commander and team leaders coordinate the shift training. Our team is not trained nor do we provide trench rescue or building collapse. We do Light and Heavy Vehicle extrication, Industrial rescue, High/Low level rope , Confined Space, and Water/Ice /Dive.
Rex, I like your training setup. I have a few questions. Is the difference in apparatus tech and tech just the ability to be a chauffer? Do you have to be a tech before your assigned to the rescue? Not sure I uderstand the Rescue Company School. This isn't mandatory to be assigned to the Rescue Company???? Or is this a course for all members on extrication, Rit etc???
Hi Sandy- The Apparatus Technician is a dedicated driver and is a separate exam. The A-Tech is not exclusive to the Rescue; there is one budgeted A-Tech for each engine, truck, and Rescue. In order for an A-Tech to be assigned to a Rescue, they must successfully complete one of the SOPS schools - Tech Rescue or Haz-Mat.

Technicians in our department can have one of four specialties; Technical Rescue, Haz-Mat, Apparatus, or EMS (ALS.) Each Technician specialty has its own promotional exam.

In order to be "assigned" to the Rescue, you must promote to the rank of Tech. A FF with a TROT Cert can ride the Rescue when the Tech's are off, it is rare. We have one extra TROT Tech to rotate through and fill-in, as do the other three TROT Rescues. TROT Technicians or Master Technicians can and often drive the Rescue. We do not detail in an Apparatus Tech to drive the rig when the chauffeur is off.

The Rescue Company School is kind of an "extra" thing. Many folks have been through a few times. Sometimes they focus it to Officers, soon-to-be officers, or firefighters. I know it seems backwards, but it is used more as a refinement, as opposed to a qualification. Extrication is part of our Tech Rescue School.

I agree we have a pretty good training set-up. Other departments in our region do not have the same luxuries or standards, depending on how you look at it.

Hope that helps...
As I have stated before, my department has no tech rescue capabilities. I do want you ask you guys that do tech rescue on a regular basis, what is you opinion on the Rescue Systems 1 and 2 classes. I do know that they are required training for the FEMA USAR teams and was wondering if it is a good start?

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