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  1. #1
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    Default NC certification talk

    Those of you currently certified by the State of NC and IFSAC in firefighting: take a peek at your certificates. In case you'd never noticed, we're all certified to the 1997 edition of NFPA 1001.

    NC...behind the times? Never...

    Anyway, there's gonna be a way to remedy that soon. The state will be making a minor change to the curriculum, effective 01 July 2005, that will bring newly certified firefighters up to the 2002 edition of the NFPA standard for Firefighter I and II. If existing certified folks wanna step up to the new level, they will need to go and take FF Orientation and Safety, then make sure that the your class completion record gets to OSFM. The staff there will send you out a new certificate.
    [I learned of this from OSFM's Mike Williams; if you or your departments have any questions, contact him or any of the other training specialists at (800) 634-7854.]

    For you RT folks:
    What are your opinions on the changeover from ERT to RT? Likes? Dislikes?
    Word is that the RT focus courses for water and confined space rescue will be released this summer...but that's just rumor, mind you.

    If anyone out there has any questions on NC certification and training, feel free to post'em here. Maybe we can all learn a little.


  2. #2
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    Question Training/Benefits Question

    From a Volunteer Fire Department Standpoint.
    Can someone tell me if a firefighter who does not have the basic structural fire fighting classes (NFPA 1403 Standard Classes) and is killed in the line of duty (i.e. performing interior structural firefighting that he/she has not properly been trained to do). Will this reduce or possibly disqualify this firefighter's family from receiving the Public Safety Officers Benefit from the Federal Government?

    I work for a paid department but question and concerns have arose about this where I volunteer....

  3. #3
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    station1ladder: The best information I can give you on this is a referral...

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/p...b_contact.html

    This is the web site for the folks who oversee the PSOB payouts. Asking them would probably be your best bet. Sorry I can't be of any more help, but maybe this will at least get you pointed in the right direction for an answer.

    I volly up in Avery; which volunteer department are you with in Burke?

  4. #4
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    In responce to the RT Question...

    I teach the RT Curriculum on a regular basis. I am the Training Officer for my Combination Rescue Squad and a full time Fire Fighter. So far, all the classes I have done seem to be flowing quite well. I will advise anyone doing the RT Program to do the VMR (Vehicle and Machinery Rescue) Classes IN ORDER! This will build the student up to the final class of Extrication.

    The Water Rescue program is already running. It was approved in the summer of 2004. The confined space, trench, and ropes specialty classes are next, with some pilot courses already being given.

    I also serve on the validation committee for the RT Program. If anyone has any feedback, positive or negative, and any suggestions that may improve the program, please let your instructor know or e-mail or call OSFM.


    NC OSFM Web Page

    Like I said, ANY feedback is good to hear. So far, the comments from new folks have been good. Some of the ones that have been around a while still don't understand why it changed. This was to keep up to date with the NFPA 1006 standard that was revised in 2002 (I think that is the year?). It had nothing to do with the NCAREMS requiring 8 ERT's to be a member of the association. OSFM has no link with that. This is just to keep up with the NFPA revisions. I am sure there will be some adjusting when the standard is revised again in about 5 years. Hopefully it won't be as drastic and won't be as confusing.

    If anyone has any questions about the RT classes, feel free to drop me a line. I will be glad to help. If I don't know the answer, I can find it.

    benford1@netzero.net

    Stay safe and train hard!
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  5. #5
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    Benford1:

    I mentioned the RT thing because all the rescue instructors and personnel I know despise the new curriculum. The biggest reason I've heard is due to the drastic changes that were made; things were just beginning to get stable from the switch from BRT/ART to ERT, and then they revamped the system again. I also hear it said often that it wouldn't have taken such huge changes in the structure of the classes to meet the NFPA 1006 standard. Perhaps you could address that.

    As for the Water Rescue section, my squad's in-house instructors say that they still haven't received the new guidance for that part of the RT program. Since you are familiar with it, I have a question: if we schedule a swiftwater tech course through Rescue 3, will it be accepted by the state? Or will they say, "No, it has to be OUR class?"

    Thanks for any and all info you can provide in these matters.

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    Well, in reply to the revamping of the system, the main thing most folks don't like is most of the ropes classes (rappelling, telphers, rigging) were dropped. These now fall under the Ropes Technician Specialty. Also, you will notice some of the shorter classes such at General, ICS, Safety and so forth have been incorporated into one class. This lets the students get some of the "boring" stuff over with in one shot, instead of having to take several classes. Also, the ICS and the Safety is in almost every class, such as Land search, Ropes, and the VMR series.

    The water class is considered a SPECIALTY course, not part of the RT curriculum. Yes, if you want to do the Rescue 3 SRT-I and SRT-Advanced classes, that will cover you, but the big drawback is you have to PAY for those classes. And as you know, the cost is not cheap. The OSFM class is FREE to anyone affiliated with a fire, rescue, or EMS provider. You can contact OSFM to set up one of those classes. You can also find out who in your area is qualified to teach the class. In order to teach it, you have to take the WHOLE 40 hour class. This can be set up for a week or done over 2 weekends.

    Hope this helps a little. I have taught the VMR classes and most of the General classes and like the format so far. Seems it incorporates more stuff together (like ropes, lowers, and rigging) into one class instead of spreading it out.
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  7. #7
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    The number one gripe I've heard about the ERT to RT changeover: losing credit for ERT classes. If personnel didn't have certain blocks of classes completed in ERT, they received NO credit for RT. Why didn't the state just amend the ERT classes to fit the 1006 guidelines rather than forcing many of their people to sit through some of the same coursework they'd already heard and done before? Not very efficient. Compare it to how OSFM just updated the FF curriculum; it doesn't even seem like the same agency manages both fire and rescue training!

    Ahhh...rope work. Where I am (Avery -- northwestern NC), rope work is a part of almost every rescue call. Even in most motor vehicle accidents -- our narrow, winding roads see more vehicles leave the pavement than stay on it, and the roads are the only things around home that are anywhere near flat. Thus, at almost every call, our folks have to know the basics of rope, when to use which rig, how to set up the rigging evolution, and how to effectively operate in a lift, lower or stabilization scheme. But now our folks don't get taught that at the basic level, and the corresponding courses haven't even been released yet! What are we supposed to do about responding to rescues between now and then? We don't have enough people to put veterans with each newbie and guide them through each setup; we simply have to operate with the responders we have on hand. We can train them in-house on basic rope work, but then they get no state-recognized credit for it. And how many folks do you think are gonna come to that class if they get no credit?

    The repetitive nature of the courses in ERT was good when it came to safety and command, I thought. Aren't those the two most important points of focus on a rescue response? And aren't they often the two most neglected? Reinforcing them and dealing with them in regards to each type of operation was a good plan, but now the state's reduced that to a single class.

    As for getting the water rescue specialty course, it's hard to do up here. We don't have that many qualified instructors in our area, and most of those who live off the mountain are not willing to drive those couple of hours to get to our facilities . However, Rescue3 courses are held over in two neighboring counties in TN (one of which I live in, by the way) on a set schedule. Getting the credit over there is easier, even with the added cost, than trying to get someone in our area to give the OSFM class. And a 45 minute drive to Johnson City is much easier on our volunteers than a 3-4 hour drive to the Nantahala; they won't even have to get a hotel room. That's why I asked about the Rescue3 equivalency.

    So far there haven't been any RT classes taught around home, so I don't know yet if I like the new setup or not. Again, we didn't have that many instructors to start with, and many of them chose not to qualify for RT after the changeover, so we may not see any RT classes for some time. The only folks I know from home that are RT-qualified instructors are in the midst of teaching an EMT-B class.

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    Ok, I am VERY familiar with Avery County, since Cubby with Linville Rescue basically taught me EVERYTHING I know about ropes and rigging. One problem I see with your argument about the rigging.....the new Ropes, Anchors, and Lowers class gives the basics for rigging vertical lowers, mechanical advantages, and proper command for executing a raise or lower operation. If you have an instructor that is worth ANYTHING, they will give the basics and then expand to meet a particular concern or need of that department.

    Yes, it does seem a little redundant to have folks take some classes over. I agree it is bad when one of my Captains had to take the 4 VMR classes just because he didn't have his Special REscue Operations class from ERT. That was the one class he needed. Just remember, these folks had 5 years to do this stuff. The RT classes didn't just pop up overnight. The changes were introduced in January of 2004 and didn't actually change until January 2005.

    However, you keep bringing up the folks that don't want to take a class for certification. I have found the ones that usually show up to the non-certification classes on a regular basis make the best rescuer. They are not there for a piece of paper. They are there to learn the techniques. I personally know ERT certified folks that I wouldn't trust to tie my shoes, much less run an actual rescue! (I am sure you know some too.) There are those that say "I have already had that class, so I don't need it again" and then those, like myself, that continually train with folks like Mitch Grubb, Dereck Calloway, Larry Cuthberson and crew to LEARN about the stuff, not to get a certification. As far as the State OSFM goes, they did not make the 8 ERT thing for the NCAREMS. The Association did that to give some little bit of credibility to a rescue squad. If we carry rescue, then shouldn't we be able to show we are trying to meet some type of State or National Standard? Also, it shows dedication when that standard is just a VOLUNTARY standard and folks make the effort to do that.

    You can call Richard Caudill with OSFM and he can come do your Water Rescue Specialty class for you there in Avery. Use the Linville River. Plenty of Good Spots there! If you don't know where to find a good spot for an exercise, then contace Linville Rescue and they are more than glad to help out.

    Also, if you call Larry Cuthberson or Dereck Calloway from Linville, they will be more than happy to come teach for you anytime you need it. These guys know their stuff for sure. Larry can show you techniques the state doesn't even KNOW.

    Additionally, I would be glad to come up there and help out sometime. If you could find at least 8 people to commit to a class I would be happy to come up and teach. It doesn't have to be a certification class and I don't have to get paid from the college. I have been known to teach classes like that for a good supper somewhere (I know the Rock House is Good!).

    Don't get too caught up in the whole certification thing. Yes, it looks good for your squad to have everyone RT or ERT, but some of those may just do it for the certificate and not show up for another class. By doing a few non-certificate classes, you will find out who really wants to do the job.

    Feel free to e-mail me with any more concerns or questions.
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  9. #9
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    First of all, I wanna say thanks for keeping this discussion between us civil and friendly. I know a lot of folks that aren't capable of that; good to know that you are, and that we can carry on a conversation without having to get all irritable.

    You'd better believe I know Cub and Calloway. But the issue there is that I'm with the OTHER rescue squad in the county, and there is still some abrasiveness between the two organizations. I don't even really think it's the organizations, but rather a few select folks between the two rosters that keep the wall built high and solid. I won't go into details, but the end result (in the context of this topic) is that they don't invite us to their training, and our instructors won't invite them over here. Go figure.

    And, that said, our squad didn't have a qualified ERT instructor until late 2003. So our personnel had next-to-no time to bust out as many classes as they could. Initially the ERT instructors were told to stop teaching the curriculum in July '04, but complaints from folks across the state got that cleared up and gave folks a few more months to work with the ERT setup.

    Sure, certification isn't the be-all, end-all. And you're absolutely right -- generally, the best folks are the ones that are willing to come to any training session, sanctioned or not.
    But it's hard to get active members in our area out to those non-certified classes. One of the most significant reasons for is that the few active folks are VERY active; most of the names on our roster can be found at two to four other response agencies in the area. These folks have multiple training requirements to meet, and certificates go a lot further than in-house classes when it comes to making those requirements. There are only so many hours in the day, so if I can make a few of them in one class meet requirements at multiple places, I'd rather go that route.
    I also have some other dialogue in this matter, but it's best reserved for e-mail.

    Thanks for the offer to come and teach. Again, I'll speak further on this in the forthcoming e-mail.

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    Not a problem bro! I look forward to the e-mail. Another route you might want to try is talk to the folks at the community college there and see if they can get an instructor for you. I can relate to the mess at the end of 2004. Some of our folks were really close to finishing when it all got changed. We did all 4 VMR classes plus the ropes, anchors and lowers class to get folks done that needed it. Good thing we got some young, dedicated folks!

    Talk to you soon. Stay safe up there!
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

  11. #11
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    Default Info on Fire Officer I workbook

    I'd hoped to be working on my Fire Instructor certification, but since there are no Educational Methodology courses nearby it looks like I might be pursuing other options right now. Fire Officer I sounds like a good goal to set, but I'd really like to know a little more about the program.

    Specifically, I'd like to know about the contents of that workbook. OSFM/NCFRC sends a workbook out to the FO-I applicant and gives them a year to complete it before taking the test. I wanna know what's in that thing before I jump in feet-first...or else I may end up over my head! I'm looking for information on what kind of stuff has to be completed, what books and reference materials (NFPA 1021 and the relevant IFSTA manuals, I'm sure, among others) would be helpful, and that sort of thing.

    If anyone out there has their NC Fire Officer I, or knows someone that has it, any info you could provide that would give me insight into what sorts of tasks are contained in that workbook would be great!

    Someone hook me up with some info!

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    Default Re: Info on Fire Officer I workbook

    Originally posted by ranahan

    Someone hook me up with some info!
    Just contact the OSFM. The program is now on CD, and you print your booklet out through that. Someone in that office can answer you questions I would hope.

  13. #13
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Info on Fire Officer I workbook

    Originally posted by achief15
    Just contact the OSFM. The program is now on CD, and you print your booklet out through that. Someone in that office can answer you questions I would hope.
    I already have the FO-I/II certification brochure and application from OSFM, but apparently they don't release the workbook/CD itself until an application is submitted.

    I could certainly go ahead and submit my application...I was just hoping that someone out there could give me a heads-up on what the tasks are like before I decided whether or not to pursue the matter.

    Thanks for your comment.

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    Default Ed Meth cert

    Ok I got a question for anyone thats an instructor.

    How exactly do the age requirements and years of experience work. I am 19 now would be 20 by the time I took the state test. But only have about a year and a half in my volunteer departnemnt maybe a little less.

    So could I take the state test or would I have to wait and take the whole course over again once I become 21 and get 4 years experience in the department.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Ok, first......what test are you taking?

    Second, if it is about the instructor thing, you have to have four years as an active firefighter to be eligible to be an instructor in addition to having your Firefighter II or Rescue Technician Certification. This is not including any years as a junior or cadet member of a department (Under 18). As for the rest of the Firefighter Certification tests, you have to be 18 to get full credit from OSFM for the class. If there is a practical involved, then you cannot legally complete that class without consent from the Community College and your High School (If enrolled in high school too).

    Give a little more info on the test you are taking and maybe I can help some more.

    Stay safe out there!
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

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