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The SVFD Training Division provides progressive and responsive training to ensure our firefighters are properly equipped and well-trained professionals serving our community. This training is based on local, state and national standards.
Our firefighters train every day. They focus on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire Suppression training since these are the most common and/or highest risk responses and hazards we face. Training takes place in a variety of locations. Our training program includes:
- Incident Command and Tactics
- Emergency Vehicle Driving
- Emergency Medical (Basic and Advanced Life Support)
- Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations
- Wildland Firefighting
- Special Operations (swiftwater rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, rope rescue, extrication)
Four Captains are assigned to the Training Division and respond as a dedicated Incident Safety Officer (ISO) at all major emergencies. The Incident Safety Officer functions as a set of eyes and ears for the incident commander with a particular focus on the safety of emergency responders.
In addition to continuous training for established firefighters, we also train newly-hired (probationary) firefighters through the Recruit Academy. The Academy provides instruction in specific operational certifications including Firefighter I, II and Hazardous Materials. Probationary firefighters must successfully complete academic and operational testing throughout the Academy (IFSAC/Pro Board Certification). Upon graduation from the Academy, probationary firefighters are assigned to a specific station and crew to continue their year-long education by completing a series of task sheets, reading assignments and practical evaluations.
Our Training Division develops initial and ongoing education within the framework of organizational policies, strategic goals and job performance requirements as detailed in specific job descriptions. The training division reviews and updates programs and materials to ensure compliance with all state statutes and codes. Further training needs are identified through a formal analysis, formal and informal evaluations (individual and company), staff meetings, operations meetings, safety committee meetings, collaboration with area fire departments and regional training committees, conferences, education, and review of industry trends.
Area fire departments have adopted a regional approach to emergency responses through Automatic Aid, crossing their borders daily to assist surrounding jurisdictions. This has prompted and necessitated a regional approach to training, as well. Now, Spokane Valley firefighters routinely train alongside fire crews from the City of Spokane, Spokane County Fire District 8, Spokane County Fire District 9 and others including AMR ambulance crews. Training together builds consistency in their actions and communication while responding to emergencies.
A multi-year training plan is now in place that synchronizes training topics, quarterly themes and regional training drills. This year, quarterly training themes include Mass Casualty Incidents, Rescue/Wildland Fire Incidents, High Rise Operations and Hazardous Materials Operations. These themes provide a template for regional training to better prepare firefighters from many departments to respond to emergencies together.
At the end of the day, more effective and efficient use of resources allows us to deliver excellent service to the public within and beyond the greater Spokane Valley.