Monday, October 22, 2012

A Battalion of Training

By: Captain Jason D. Blake, NREMT-P
In-Service Training Coordinator Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service

The Montgomery County Fire Rescue Training Academy (MCFRTA) operates seven days and six nights a week with over 6,000 students being trained in Fire, Rescue, EMS and other fire service related training each year.

The County is divided into five battalions, managed by a Battalion Chief. On average there are six firehouses with approximately 60 personnel working. On any given day at the MCFRTA there are 60-80 students being taught a wide variety of fire service training topics. There are days when there is an equivalent of a battalion of people training at the academy.

The MCFRTA does initial training for new members of our career and volunteer fire service and refresher/recertification/update training of all of members. Basic and advanced emergency medical training is required of all our personnel and you will find a wide variety of experience and rank in our classes. Assistant Chiefs and Battalion Chiefs, with years of experience, running scenario based training with firefighters with 3-5 years on the job.

The department’s specialty teams, (Hazardous Materials, Urban Search and Rescue, etc) train at the academy to keep their skills proficient.

The MCFTRA hosts regional and national classes on a regular basis to keep our personnel up to date, and proficient, on all of the latest information and skills as it relates to making sure we are ready to respond to any type of emergency situation. The classes include Fire, EMS, Rescue and Management course given through the National Fire Academy, International Association of Firefighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs or vendors. 

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