The training Division at LFD is involved with many facets of education
Recruit training.The level of education required to operate at LFD has increased dramatically over the years. To begin with they have to meet Michigan requirements for professional firefighters. We then have Hazardous materials training, confined space and extrication minimum requirements. That would only prepare them to ride the fire rigs. The process is repeated for the medical aspect of the job. State licensure as a Paramedic or EMT must be met. We then have a process of preparing the new firefighters to operate within the department: specialty equipment, exposure control, and medical control certification.
Training doesn't stop when a firefighter is assigned to the suppression division. It is just starting. After the minimum competencies are completed we have professional development and continuing education. To maintain licensure as a Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) several continuing education credits must be earned. ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) for paramedics and renewal of State license every three years.
Firefighting is not a static profession. Teamwork and cooperation are not an accident. They are a result of training. From individual evolutions such as: fire attack lines, hydrant supply and various rescue and ladder techniques. The Training Division maintains a schedule and curriculums covering a large variety of classroom and hands on schools. Classes are conducted each month to maintain skill levels and learn new techniques.
Working Toward Promotion / Professional Development
Firefighters at LFD have a dedicated team concept. A seniority promotional system (with qualification) encourages all firefighters to work and train together. Firefighters study to take a competency exam for Engineer. Becoming State certified to drive the rigs is just the start. Once the firefighter has mastered the skills of driving, they must master the skills of operating the apparatus. In classroom and station settings they learn hydraulic systems, water supply and mechanical systems. Through building tours and classroom they familiarize themselves with fire suppression systems and high rise water supply applications. At the completion of this training they must complete an examination and prove competency (by skills based testing). They must individually be cleared to operate each piece of apparatus at LFD. Engineers start to focus on command and management courses to test for promotion to Lieutenant. Once an officer the training continues. Just as with the other ranks the classes are a combination of college level and in house training.
Lansing Fire offers many specialty disciplines to get training in as well. It is operated in a focus station concept. One of the stations (along with there daily duties) houses specialty training and resources to be called upon if needed. Those include Hazardous Materials, Urban Search and Rescue, Confined space, High angle rescue, vehicle extrication and entrapment. While all firefighters receive a base knowledge in all areas others are assigned to work with the equipment regularly. These crews research and study ways to be more proficient in their discipline. These skills can take a lot of time to master and excel in.
Training is no accident
This has two meanings. The training division is responsible for making sure that all appropriate training is provided. The Training Division consist of 2 Officers and clerical staff. With the large volume of mandated training, the division must rely on a contingent of adjunct instructors throughout the department to complete it's aggressive training schedule.
Regular training is needed to be proficient. We also know that the fire service operates in high risk environments. Training is completed by a variety of methods. A lesson might be taught in a classroom. Application classes may include diving in a frozen pond, hanging from a rope twelve stories in the air,or crawling through an building full of smoke.
We are here to ensure that the standards of LFD are on par with the best in the country. It is our goal to assist in training to handle the worst, in the safest manner possible.