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Georgia Smoke Divers is a model program for exceeding the minimum standard. Twice a year over 50 instructor gather to pass on knowledge in leadership, situational awarness, Air Management, FF Survival and Self Rescue. This program has been around since 1978 and was teaching these skill way before RIT and FF Safety Programs were on the scene. The Georgia class is 6 12-16 hour days that challenges the students unlike most other courses. Our goal is to teach the students skills to prevent themselves from getting into trouble on the fire ground and what to do if they find themselves in trouble. Then we put the skills to the test but not in a typical format. We use repetition and require the students to perform under the stress of extreme fatigue and hostile fire ground environments. This is an advanced class designed for firefighters with at least 2 years of service. I know many other states have programs that carry the name "Smoke Diver" what similar type program does your state have? We do accept students from out of state. For more info www.georgiasmokediver.com

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Dave,
This sounds like an excellent program. I have heard lots about it but I would really like to get my hands on a course outline. I'll bet there are several skills that I could use in my department.We have a program in NY called the "Mask Confidence Course" which concentrates primarily on SCBA skills. Let me know if this info is available.
The beauty of this is that none of the skills taught are really that different that anyone else's. We do the Denver Drill, Entanglement, FF Drags and Carries, Thermal Imaging Searches, SCBA Emergency Proceedures, Buddy Breathing, Regulator Breathing, Cylinder Breathing, Emergency Bailout to Rope, Handcuff Knot Rescue, and much more. What makes this class different is the schedule of events that take the student out of the safe "comfort" zone and make them perform these skills. For instance most courses teach Emergency Bailout to rope with smoke or a mask. We teach the skill first in that environment then add smoke and require them to breath air and they do it after 30 mins of PT, 1 hour of an obstacle course and a 3 mile run. This puts there physical and metal state in a different place so they are practicing the skill at a point where most of them have never had to perform. So when they actual face being out of air, trapped or exhausted they will have been there before and be able to go back to that experience and have a better sense of situational awareness than someone who hasn't been there. All skills are performed in the real enviroment in smoke and or fire and breathing air. The schedule is not public information because that is part of the stress for the student (not knowing what is next or when the day will end). I would be happy to share the skill sheets with you (I don't think it would be anything you haven't seen). You are more than welcome to come and see the class in person. Next class is in November.
Illinois has a program at the Illinois Fire Service Institute at the U of I in Champaign, IL. It's a 5-day/40+ hour course with mostly all hands on and live burns. It has been around and updated may times over the past 25+ years.
I'm a Tennessee smoke diver. We have a 5 day 40 + hour course. Mostly scenarios, live burns, air consumption drills, PT/running in gear & packs. Very intense course.

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