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Real Help for Training Officers - Sample Schedules, WAC Requirements, Curriculum and Tools

Real Help for Training Officers - Sample Schedules, WAC Requirements, Curriculum and Tools
As a volunteer training officer, I was often frustrated by the amount of time necessary to research training requirements, develop classroom materials, design evolutions and generally prep for classes that I DON’T HAVE.   It’s not that I didn’t want to put the effort into it, it’s that it is definitely a full time position and I only had a couple of hours a week to throw at it.  On top of that, add the Health and Safety Officer duties, and overwhelmed was an understatement.  

I knew if I was feeling this, every volunteer training officer in the State was feeling it to.  And though Training Officers meetings and organizations are a great resource, it takes time to attend them also.  I knew weekly I was re-inventing the wheel and wanted to find a way to leverage the resources and experience of my fellow training officers.

So I approached the Washington Fire Chiefs with a proposal to build a WAC compliant training program for departments around the State through a Department and Labor and Industries Safety and Health Investments Projects Grant.  They supported the project whole-heartedly and with help from the Training and Safety Officers Division and hundreds of hours of work from our team, we have created a Fire Service Safety Plan and two year training calendar website!

Two training officers workshops were held around the State to identify needs and requirements, gather resources, swap training material and build evolutions needed to comply with skill degradation prevention requirements.  These were then turned into resources for the project.

Live Fire Training evolutions that meet NFPA 1403 were developed during the workshops and approved by L&I for use at local departments, providing a solution to a complicated problem for rural departments. 

The Fire Service Safety Plan is a calendar based tool designed to break down both the Safety and Training requirements from WAC 296-305 into monthly policy and training suggestions.  The printed copy (also available online) can be the basis of a department’s L&I required accident prevention program.  Though it does not cover every aspect of the WAC, it covers the more obscure and non-fire related requirements departments struggle with, such as fall protection, hearing conservation, and workplace violence training requirements.   Departments are encouraged to use the calendar each month to review their existing policies to see if they need updated or added to the Department SOPs.

The companion website gives access to the Fire Service Safety Plan in another format.   There, you can download a two year training schedule that covers the WAC requirements and topics.   In the monthly calendar online, individual days have training suggestions, powerpoints, drills and resources to save training officers research time and energy.  The individual resources have not all been reviewed by L&I and are suggestions, but the material has been gathered by seasoned training officers from around the State.  The website will continue to be updated through 2015 with more resources  and training tools.

Each Fire Department in the State received a copy of the Fire Service Safety Plan in mid-October and can start utilizing the resources as soon as possible.  

Several Training Officer’s Workshops utilizing the Fire Service Safety Plan and Website will be hosted around the State through March 2016.  Also catch the Real Help for Training Officers - Sample Schedules, WAC Requirements, Curriculum and Tools on Sunday February 28, 2016 at the Training Officer’s Conference in Yakima for a complete overview of the program.

Posted: Nov 30, 2015,
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