Fort McCoy News February 27, 2015

Fort McCoy firefighters train in advanced-level course

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy firefighters took a step toward becoming better managers by participating in the advanced Fire Officer III course at the fire department in building 1680.

Fire training photo
Instructor Matt Davies of the Regional Emergency All-Climate Training Center of Volk Field, Wis., teaches a session of the Fire Officer III course Feb. 10 at the Fort McCoy Fire Department.

Instructors from the Regional Emergency All-Climate Training (REACT) Center of Volk Field, Wis., taught the course to Fort McCoy firefighters and reserve-component Soldiers from Milwaukee and Washington state Feb. 9-13.

Instructor Che Stedman of the REACT Center said the course is designed to meet the needs of fire officers at managerial and administrative levels, such as managing a division or battalion of an emergency-response organization.

"The course is 40 hours of training to prepare these firefighters for future success," Stedman said.

The course teaches personnel hiring, evaluations, and assignments; risk-reduction programs; budgeting and purchasing; records and resource management; inspection program evaluation; incident action-plan development; and health and safety program management.

Students completing the course passed written and hands-on skill evaluations to earn national certification through the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (The Pro Board) — an internationally recognized organization for accreditation of fire service organizations.

Assistant Fire Chief Tim Jorgensen said the certification qualifies firefighters for greater responsibility within the department.

"Essentially, the course certifies them at an assistant (fire) chief level," Jorgensen said. "It qualifies them to apply for higher-level positions in their career progression, and builds their skills in areas such as negotiating with the unions, building fire department programs, the value of tracking training, fire department functions, and effective writing."

Stedman and fellow REACT Center Instructor Matt Davies taught the course to more than 30 students. He said teaching the course at Fort McCoy made sense.

"Here, we were able to cover many of the Fort McCoy firefighters and also provide the training to Soldiers who needed it, which gave us a full class," Stedman said.

For more information about the course, visit the REACT Center website at http://react.wi.gov/volk-field. For more information about the Fort McCoy Fire Department, call 608-388-2508.