Training officers undergo training of their own
BLACK HAWK, S.D. – Did you know that roughly 10 percent of line-of-duty firefighter deaths are training-related?
Some local fire departments in cooperation with the National Fire Academy are working to reduce that number.
Training officers from several West River fire departments convened Saturday and Sunday at the Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department.
They were there to participate in a 16-hour training operations course. The course is offered free-of-charge by the National Fire Academy.
The course focused on how to improve training operations in small departments. Small fire departments don’t usually don’t have the funding or training resources that larger ones do.
Many of those small departments do not have professionally trained training officers. Courses like these can save the lives of firefighters in the future.
“Just like with any other volunteer fire department, we usually get appointed to that because we show up,” said Chief Kurt Klunder of the Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department. “Because of this, the majority of those people who get put into those training positions really don’t have the knowledge or expertise on how to set up classes. This class itself is taking those training officers and giving them the tools to help provide training to their home department much better, more efficiently.”
The training officers in the course came from several fire departments, including Rapid City, Box Elder, New Underwood, and as far away as Wall.