A lot of people would like to be firefighters, very few know what it actually takes.
Seven of Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) newest Firefighter Trainees are about find out first hand what it takes.
For the next eight weeks, the seven firefighters of Class 10-03 will participate in an extensive Training Program. The Trainee Program is designed to increase the Bureau’s diversity will consist of firefighting methods, basic hose and ladder practices, safety and survival techniques, physical fitness, and other basic firefighting skills and topics. Trainees who successfully complete the Trainee Program will be sworn in as Firefighter Recruits at the completion of the 8-week program.
Prior to physical training and conditioning activities,
Firefighter Trainees of Class 10-03 stretch and warm-up.
Firefighter Trainee practices raising a 25-foot straight ladder
from the ground to the building and back down.
Firefighter Trainee climb 80 feet to the top of an
extended truck ladder and back without pausing.
A typical 10-hour day at PF&R's Training Academy is very busy. The average day starts with a morning roll call, housework, and written exams. Trainees then prepare for physical fitness and climbing the fire escape. There are academic and physical fitness components to the day, and a lot of information is compressed into the schedule. PF&R takes pride in its extensive training and, as a result, PF&R's Training Program is one of the longest, most arduous training programs in the country.
The following is sample daily schedule. There are weeks when there will be more classroom time than drill ground time. The schedule is dynamic and will vary depending on the educational and training opportunities.
Sample Daily Schedule
- 7:00-7:15 am: Roll Call
- 7:15 - 8:00 am: Housework and Apparatus Checks
- 8:00 - 9:00 am: Written Examination
- 9:00 - 10:00 am: Physical Training & Conditioning
- 10:00 - 12:00 pm: Drill Ground Skills & Evolutions or Classroom Lecture
- 12:00 - 1:00 pm: Lunch (Closed Campus. Recruits must bring a lunch/snack
- 1:00 - 4:00 pm: Drill Ground Skills & Evolutions
- 4:00 - 5:00 pm: Housework
- 5:00 pm: Dismissal
To be successful in the Training Program, the seven Firefighter Trainees are expected to be professional at all times, be in good physical shape, use good time-management skills, work hard, and take pride learning the skills necessary to be a professional firefighter.
It is essential for the Firefighter Trainees to be team players and help others around them and recognize when to ask for help. PF&R is looking for people that possess leadership qualities, and take initiative to be a leader when appropriate and know when to be a good follower.
What’s Next for Class 10-03?
- Recruit Academy: After successful completion of the 8-week Training Program, Firefighter Trainees in Class 10-03 will join with six Recruit Firefighters and attend the 16-week Recruit Academy as Firefighter Recruits. The curriculum includes fireground hydraulics and pump theory, more complex hose evolutions and ladder raises, and a more in-depth understanding and application of fireground tools and equipment, including the self-contained breathing apparatus.
- Station 2: Successful Firefighter Recruits from Class 10-03 will then transfer to Station 2, a working fire station. At Station 2, Firefighter Recruits will learn bureau Emergency Medical Service protocols, practice challenging scenario based evolutions while being available to respond on emergency calls. Under the supervision of training officers and firefighter specialists, the Firefighter Recruits spend three months training on an engine company, then three months with a truck company.
- Stations Around the City of Portland: After completing six months of training at Station 2, successful Firefighter Recruits from Class 10-03 will then be transferred to stations around the City of Portland where they spend another eight weeks of independent learning and continuing evaluation.
Check back on the Fire Blog as we follow the new firefighters of Class 10-03 through the Training Program, Recruit Academy, Station 2 training, and transfer to fire stations within the City of Portland.
Additional photos of Class 10-03 have been posted on PF&R's Facebook page.