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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Virginia's Wildfire Academy 2011 day 1

The 11th annual Virginia Interagency Wildfire Training Academy is off to a good start. Today was a day to set up the Incident Command Center, unpack the numerous trucks with supplies and prepare for the registration of about 350 students this year.

The conference staff at Longwood University was very helpful and the day went fairly smooth, HOT but smooth. This academy could not happen without the support of MANY agencies along with the University. I will in an upcoming post identify all the agencies that have either provided instructors or will have students attending.

Many things have changes from the days that we fought fire with very basic tools and equipment, one thing that has remained the same is the “fire”, its still very dangerous work and very demanding physically and mentally. It takes a tough and dedicated person to do what it is we do.
I will try and post pictures and information from the academy each day, please check back.
For now I will leave you with a listing of the courses offered to the 350 students at the academt this year.

Course Descriptions
I-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action IncidentsThis course introduces students to the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS) associated with incident related performance.

I-300 ICS for Expanding Incidents This course provides description and detail of the Incident Command System (ICS) organization and operations in supervising roles on expanding or Type 3 incidents.

S-130 Firefighter Training / S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
L-180 Human Factors on the Fire line / I-100 ICS Orientation
This course trains firefighters in basic Wildland firefighting skills. Safety, tactics, equipment use and operation prepares the firefighter for fire suppression work. Training in fire behavior factors will aid in the safe and effective control of Wildland fires. Basic knowledge of the structure and concept of the ICS system will be covered along with human factors on the fire line. This course will be presented in a distance learning environment as approximately 24 hours of training will be completed prior to the academy. The remaining field portion of the training will be completed at the academy along with the final examination.

S-131 Advanced Firefighter Training This course meets the training needs of both Advanced Firefighter/Squad Boss (FF1) and Incident Commander Type 5 (ICT5). The course is designed to be interactive in nature. It contains several tactical decision games designed to facilitate learning the objectives and class discussion. Topics include: fireline reference materials, communications, and tactical decision making.

S-133 Look Up, Look Down, Look AroundThis course examines the wildland fire environment and the indicators firefighters should observe on the fire line in order to anticipate fire behavior.

S-200 Initial Attack Incident CommanderDesigned to provide the initial attack Incident Commander with training in Readiness and Mobilization, Size-up, planning and ordering, deployment and containment, administrative duties and post fire evaluation.

S-212 Wildfire Power Saws Provides students’ skill training for work as a power saw operator on wildland fires. This course covers the duties and responsibilities of the power saw operator, parts and maintenance of the power saw, application and safety.
S-215 Fire Operations in the Urban Interface                                                                                    The course is required training for initial attack incident commanders and strike team leaders. This course is designed to assist structure and wildland firefighters to make tactical decisions when confronting wildland fire that threatens life, property, and improvements in the wildland/urban interface. Instructional units include: interface awareness, size up, initial strategy and incident action plan, structure triage, structure protection tactics, incident action plan assessment and update, follow-up and public relations, and firefighter safety in the interface.

S-230 Single Resource Boss This is a classroom course designed to produce student proficiency in the performance of duties associated with the single resource boss position from initial dispatch through demobilization to the home unit. Topics include: operational leadership, preparation and mobilization, assignment preparation, risk management, entrapment avoidance, safety and tactics, offline duties, demobilization, and post incident responsibilities.

S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire BehaviorThis course is designed to instruct prospective fireline supervisors in wildland fire behavior for effective and safe fire management operations. The course provides a detailed treatment of fuels, weather, topography and their effects on fire behavior.

Tractor Plow Operation                                                                                                                       This course was created, designed and developed by the Virginia Department of Forestry and instructs the student in the safe and effective operation of tractor plow units. On the ground instruction is utilized along with some indoor instruction on tactics and safety. This course is designed for operators who have some level of experience operating a tractor plow on fire assignments.

Thanks for checking by and please come back for pictures and information from day 2 tomorrow night.

Smokey is sure proud of all these women and men who take the time to train to be the best they can be and to put their lives in danger when fighting a wildfire.

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