Recruit Class 37, a set on Flickr.
By: Captain Jason Blake
Recruit Class 37 is 8 weeks into their 26 weeks of training. Half the class is taking Emergency Medical Technician, a 165 hour training course, while the other half is taking Fire Fighter I and II training.
The end of the Fire Fighter training concludes with scenario- based evolutions, similar to what recruits will see when riding apparatus at the firehouse. The scenarios simulate fires in single family homes, apartment buildings and high rises. Recruits are broken up in to groups and assigned to the Engine Company (water and hoses), Truck Company (aerial ladder) or Rescue Squad (search for civilians) and fulfill the duties in the scenarios per MCFRS policy and procedures. This takes recruits from individual tasks, which they are still mastering, and applies them to live fire and smoke conditions- very similar to incidents that occur in the county every day.
The Instructors and Recruits travel to Loudoun County, Virginia and Frederick County, Maryland to use their respective burn facilities so the students experience different layouts of buildings. Fire Departments in the region often share facilities and resources to better their departments.