John Ashman, Division Chief
The role of the Training Division is to coordinate the training needed to improve the departments ability to handle the multitude of tasks that we are faced with in the course of our day to day operations in an efficient and safe manner. This training includes reviewing the basics, exploring new techniques and ideas, and learning to apply these lessons in the field. This will be accomplished by classroom sessions and practical hands on application on the training ground.
The Lewisville Fire Department has set the goal of not just meeting the annual 20 hours of Continuing Education required by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection for recertification, but to work toward meeting the 240 hours of annual training required by the ISO (Insurance Services Office) for the maximum credit in the area of training. With these training goals in mind the Department has more than doubled our resource materials. This includes reference books, training tapes, training curriculums, CD simulations and testing programs. These resources along with our ability to transmit video tapes and do live programming from our training room to all of our stations gives us the ability to coordinate and up grade our training as never before.
Our four story training tower and attached two-story burn building along with other on site projects gives us the ability to give practical application to the lessons we cover in the classroom. Also on site we have a below grade training simulator that allows for Confined Space training for our personnel, members of Lewisville's Utility Line Maintenance personnel, and members of neighboring Departments to use. We have added a flat roof simulator with parapet walls, a security bar simulator and a stand alone " Saving Our Own" firefighter rescue simulator.
Our most recent addition is a two sided pitched roof simulator used for vertical ventilation training. Since this facility was first placed in use in January 1992 is has been made available for use by our neighbors. Over 40 entities have made use of it. This includes Fire Departments, area Colleges, Police Departments, ATF, and a number of other organizations.
HEALTH and SAFETY
The Health and Safety Division acts as Risk Management for the Department and in conjunction with the City's Risk Management division tries to be proactive in the areas of health and safety rather than reactive.
With this in mind we review all injuries and accidents to determine the cause and to look at ways to prevent this type of occurrence in the future. Quarterly inspections take place at all Department facilities with the health and safety of the firefighters and citizens as the main focus. Safety is stressed in everything we do whether in the station, during training or on the scene of a fire, accident or any other incident we may be called upon to respond to.
With our number one asset being our personnel, their fitness to carry out the demands of the job is of primary concern. This concern is for both their physical fitness and their mental fitness. On the physical side we have equipment in each fire house for their use, to work on upper and lower body strength and equipment for cardiovascular workouts. Future additions to the equipment available are being reviewed. Our workout facilities are also available for the members of our Police Department. With the many and varied types of incidents we respond to there are times when the emotional impact can effect a firefighters mental process. At these times we try to debrief our personnel soon after the occurrence, and when needed, follow up with the Critical Incident Stress Management Team. On the rare occasions where these steps are insufficient to help the firefighter, the City can make counseling available through our Employee Assistance Program.
All in all, the function of the Training, Health and Safety Division of the Lewisville Fire Department is to guide our firefighters toward performing their various tasks with efficiency and safety through good training.