Montgomery County’s Officer Candidate School - Day 1

Oct. 13, 2003
Montgomery County, Maryland’s first, Officer Candidate School students hit the ground running at 0700 hrs this morning at the Public Safety Training Academy located in Rockville, Maryland.
Montgomery County, Maryland's first, Officer Candidate School students hit the ground running at 0700 hrs this morning at the Public Safety Training Academy located in Rockville, Maryland. The day started with stretching, running, and weight-lifting led by the department's new Peer Fitness Trainers. The program, led by Dr. Joanne Roberts, the department's exercise physiologist is built upon the IAFC/IAFF/ACE Wellness - Fitness Program. This first delivery of OCS allows the department to showcase its commitment to fire fighter health, wellness, and fitness.

The 26 students for the OCS program were selected from the department's "Well-Qualified" Eligibility List for Fire/Rescue Lieutenant. Each student has already met all of the minimum training standards for the job class and has passed the department's promotional exam for lieutenant. Attendance at OCS allows for additional training in the many aspects of serving as a first-line supervisor in the Montgomery County system. While the first OCS has no direct bearing on a student's promotion, the department believes that it will truly make a difference once the new supervisors are placed in the field.

Today's classroom sessions commenced with Fire Chief Tom Carr presenting his vision of the department and his expectations of the first-line supervisory rank. The chief's presentation spoke on the views of his job, the department's overall readiness to respond, the functions of the organization's various divisions, and how the rank of lieutenant integrates into the development of the organization.

The remainder of the first day consisted of various divisions of the department discussing the roles and responsibilities of the lieutenant in those work sites. Lieutenant John Peppel of the Public Safety Communications Center discussed how the lieutenant functions as the shift supervisor at the county's busy 911 communications center. Lieutenant Reed Daniels spoke on behalf of the Code Enforcement Division describing what it takes to serve as a lieutenant in that division and what the daily life of a code enforcement official is like.

Captain William Cooke (recently promoted from lieutenant) spoke about the roles and responsibilities of the EMT-P Lieutenant. In the Montgomery County system, lieutenants who possess EMT-P certification are assigned to Advanced Life Support units as the unit supervisor. Lieutenant Derrick Anthony presented information on what it is like being the "detail" LT in the Bureau of Operations. It was on LT Anthony's second shift as a newly promoted lieutenant that he was detailed to a different station and became the first-arriving unit officer on a multi-fatality dwelling fire.

By the end of the first day, OCS appeared to be a success. The logistics had worked out without only one minor glitch and the students were tired, yet retained a positive attitude. Up next

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