The RFD Training Section is overseen by the Captain of Training. All firefighters are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of training each month. Training is a combination of classroom and practical field application that includes such topics as: vehicle extrication, pump theory and practice, water supplies, emergency medical services, ventilation, incident command, hazardous materials response, emergency driving, terrorism readiness, communications, etc.
Training is an integral part of building an effective emergency operations team. Over the last several years the RFD has increased expectations and job performance standards and has ensured that state and federal mandated training programs are conducted. In addition to these improvements, the department is increasing the level of training support to accomplish several additional objectives including:
- Certifying all firefighters at the paramedic level
- Certifying all driver/engineers and firefighters as driver/operators
- Expanding the firefighter wellness program and improving fitness levels
- Creating a professional development program
- Improving disaster preparedness
- Increasing understanding of and use of technology
Most of the training is done at the local fire station and the fire department training center. Each shift routinely performs larger scale multi-company drills at the training center that simulates response to larger incidents. These drills sometimes include mutual aid departments from other cities and aids in the department’s level of readiness to respond.