The Importance of Continued Education in the Fire Service
The Fire Service is one of many emergency services in the country. It is a rare breed of men and women who go against the norm and run into a burning building as everyone else runs out. It takes a special person to become a firefighter, volunteer or career, as it is a time consuming effort. Today, we will discuss the importance of continued education in the fire service.
The initial training of a firefighter in New Jersey, the Firefighter 1 course, consists of 160 hours of education. This education occurs in a classroom setting and in a county burn facility. The recruits, after spending a set amount of time in the classroom, will be subjected to practicals. These are portions of the course that have the recruits don their gear and enter a live burn scenario to get the feel for fire conditions.
Any training a firefighter obtains after the initial course is typically considered continued education, unless the additional courses are required for employment. Additional certifications firefighters can obtain include, but are not limited to, the following:
Confined Space Rescue
Fire Officer 1 & 2
Rapid Intervention Crew Operations
Qualified Training Officer
Incident Command System (multiple levels)
Hazmat Awareness and Operations
Truck Company Operations
Emergency Vehicle Operator
Continued Education via Books
Firefighters can also continue their education within the fire service by reading. Lt. Chris Hunter was an avid reader of all books related to the fire service and emergency services. Part of the reason why the Hunter's Heroes Foundation was created to help those interested in becoming firefighters obtain the books they need to further their career. The foundation has donated sets of Lt. Hunter's favorite books to libraries throughout Burlington County.
Lt. Hunter's Book List
As mentioned above, continued education should be a mix of practical training and experience combined with reading books about the fire service. This is how Lt. Hunter operated. He would read while off-duty and at home or even during breaks or dinner while on-duty. He was constantly learning about his profession and how he could better himself as a firefighter. His goal was to not only help himself, but those around him and the community.
You can browse the entire list of Lt. Hunter's favorite books about the fire service here.
Quite possibly one of the most popular books in Lt. Hunter's collection is that of "Step Up and Lead." Written by career deputy chief Frank Viscuso, the book provides tips for being an effective leader within the fire service. It is a must-read for those who wish to hold leadership positions within their department.
Are you interested in what we do here at the Hunter's Heroes Foundation? Contact us today for more information. If you'd like to donate to our cause, you can do so via our website. You can browse more of our blog posts here. If you will be in Wildwood on September 15 and 16, stop by our tent at the annual New Jersey Firemen's Convention.