The Portage Fire Department Training Division strives to enhance firefighter safety and performance through frequent, high quality training based on current industry standards. We strive to meet all Local, State, and Federal Fire Service training requirements. We are dedicated to providing exceptional Emergency Services to our community while ensuring that our firefighters perform at a high level, avoid injury, and return home safely after each shift.
We coordinate and facilitate regular training drills throughout the year which are held mornings and evenings on the second, third, and fourth Tuesdays nine months of the year, and on the second and fourth Tuesdays the other three months. These training drills prepare our firefighters for challenges faced in the line of duty. This training is provided through educational classes, scenario based training, and multi-company operations. The Portage Fire Department completed approximately 3046 hours of training in 2021. This included training in firefighting, water rescue, motor vehicle extrication, forcible entry, confined space, hazardous materials, rail car incident response, rope rescue, bloodborne pathogens, wildland firefighting, and search and rescue.
Our Training Division has been actively involved in training new firefighters and supporting new programs as needed. We hired 5 new firefighters in 2021, one of which had to complete the newly designed firefighter recruit training. These new members are responsible for demonstrating a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill throughout their first year on probation.
In 2021, we were fortunate to have an opportunity to conduct two live burn trainings. We were able to do several training sessions at these buildings prior to the live burn to include; search and rescue, rapid intervention, ventilation, victim removal, and self-rescues. With the help of our surrounding fire departments we were able to conduct live fire room burns for the members of each department. This type of training is invaluable, because it provides a real-life experience and exposes the firefighters to the heat and smoke of an actual structure fire.
Many of the firefighters in 2021 worked hard to improve their education and skills as they completed firefighter and driver operator certification classes. We had two Paid-On Call (POC) and one full-time member complete the Driver Operator Aerial Class, two POC’s complete the Entry Level Firefighter Class, and seven POC’s complete the Driver Operator Pumper class.
We are excited about the positive change and growth that we experienced this year and look forward to building on all of this and more in 2022.