Since our department opened its doors in 1957, our leaders pushed the members to be as proficient and professional as possible. Very early on, the Officers at the time discovered that in depth, practical and applicable training was the answer to this need. We are proud to say that the tradition of relevant and continuous training is still very much alive in the South Spartanburg Fire. Once someone joins the membership, their journey of certifications, practical evolutions and endless continuing education begins.
As soon a recruit is hired on, the Training Division enrolls them in the first entry level South Carolina Fire Academy (SCFA) course available. The recruit will have a few options gaining the minimum certifications which will take them through IFSAC Firefighter 2 level with several other courses as pre-requisites. Recruits may choose from a night time recruit school which runs several nights per week for approx. 12 weeks, or they may choose the daytime class which is on a Mon-Fri, 8-5 schedule.
After the recruit gains the minimum firefighter certifications, we begin enrolling them into more advanced firefighting classes to allow them to perform well above the minimums. As Firefighters grow in their career, they will receive certifications in areas including but not limited to Firefighting, Driver/Operator, Aerial Operations, Pump Operations, Leadership/Officer Classes, Survival and Rapid Intervention, Emergency Medical Responder, and many more.
Continuing education is an ever present term that is used around the firehouse. The Training Division has developed training schedules for our volunteers and paid staff alike. Topics covered in these continuing education drills run from Blood borne pathogens, to Advanced Auto Extrication, Rope Rescue, Firefighter development and anything in between. Our paid staff receives training while on duty via our shift drill schedule. This schedule is set up for every Weds-Fri, each shift will meet at Southport to have multi-company drills with both RFD Stations, Croft staff, and often times, other automatic aid agencies. Topics covered during these drills include response guidelines, S.O.P. familiarization, NIMS, Firefighter and Driver Operator Development, Medical in-service, Haz Mat Response, Advanced Rescue Techniques and many more.
The Training Division is proud to say that we have been able to maintain over 5,000 man hours of training each year for the past 5 years at least. While the 5,000 hours is a lot, we are prouder to say that our quality of training is very high as well. Not only do we provide the opportunity for our members to gain the highest levels of training possible, but our members are able to produce effective results when it matters most.