Northwest Florida Volunteer Firefighter Weekend


Course Descriptions

Tactics & Decisions for the 1st Arriving Officer (NEW)

A comprehensive 16 -hour class on making decisions from the time you arrive on the scene, until you call “control”.  Review; “How to Read the Scene” to determine “Extreme Fire Behavior”, Understanding “Modern fire Attack” methods for “Scene Safety”, and analyze NIOSH case studies involving firefighter fatalities.  A very Frank & Honest presentation into the “Real World” of Structural Fire Fighting.  (Instructor Stan Merritt, Training Officer, Union Volunteer Fire and Rescue (AL))

Active Shooter Response

This 4 hour course introduces the student to what is becoming a national crisis. Students will be exposed to: the profile of an active shooter; responding to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation; training for an active shooter situation and creating an emergency action plan; and tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence. (Instructor: Kurt Larson)

Advanced Smoke Reading (Recommend taking Reading Smoke 101 but not required) (4 hrs CEUs for Inspector and Instructor)

In this 4 hour class we will review the basics of "Reading Smoke 101".  Then dive into reading smoke deeper with new fire videos with heavy discussion on tactics.  Then we will cover the "firefighters quick tricks". This is to give pointers on how to read smoke conditions after the attack line is pulled and how to set-up for success in the front yard.  Then the course will look at "wind driven fires" and how they change fire conditions.  This course is based on smoke reading material from Dave Dodson and NIST.  (Instructor Chris Brown, Captain, Ocean City-Wright Fire Control District)

Animal First Aid

During this 4 hour class students will learn how to safely approach and provide initial treatment for pets from medical emergencies, such as wounds, possible broken bones, airway obstruction, and CPR. Other topics will include advise on items needed to assemble a Pet First Aid Kit. (Instructor Donnie Thornton, Licensed Venterinary Technician, Eglin AFB Veterinary Treatment Facility)

Apparatus Operations (NEW)

The curriculum covers the laws, rules and driving techniques for emergency vehicles, as well as a review of fire service hydraulics. Fire ground evolutions and a driving course make up the practical part of the course. The evolution portion of the course includes the use of pre-connected lines, tandem pumping, drafting, relays and master streams. The student should have a basic understanding of fire stream hydraulics prior to entering this course. Students must bring gloves and proper attire for water pumping exercises.  (Instructor TBD)

Autism Awareness (NEW)

This 4-hour course... (Instructor: Autism Society of Emerald Coast, Florida)

Dispatch - What You Should Know and How To Ask For It

This is a 4-hour course...  (Instructor Robert Nowlin, Pace Fire District)

Firefighter Suicide Awareness (4 hours)

This course will provide awareness of the problem, some of the reasons for Suicide of a responder.  This course will then provide some coping mechanisms and some avenues for seeking help.  This course will not make counselors out of students.  This is just the beginning of the process.  Course objectives include understaning the problem/stressors, warning signs, coping mechanisms, positive ways of dealing with it, and where to get help. (Instructor Joseph "Butch" Parker, Paramedic, Okaloosa County EMS)

Fire Ground Survival (Minimum Firefighter I) (NEW)

This 8-hour course will identify and describe the need to be Mayday ready at all times, explain the need to have a situational awareness of the conditions that could place a firefighter in a Mayday situation, demonstrate the ability to recognize deteriorating conditions that place firefighters in harm, and describe the communication system necessary during a mayday.  The student must also must demonstrate the skills in manipulating their SCBA’s, Pass Devices, and radios in restricted movements, limited visibility, and with both hands, to increase firefighter survival when presented with a Mayday situation.  (Instructor TBD)

Emergency Incident Rehabilitation (Rehab) (4 hours CEUs for Instructor) (Prerequisite: First Aid & ability to take patient vital signs)

This is a 4-hour hands-on training course that will review NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1584.  Students will setup and function as an actual rehab during the Live Fire Evolutions course.  Prerequisites: First Aid skills and the ability to take patient vitals. (Instructor Joseph "Butch" Parker, Paramedic, Okaloosa County EMS) 

Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC)

This is a 16-hour course that includes classroom discussion on safe driving, state laws, physical forces that effect driving. The practical portion includes driving an apparatus through a course designed by VFIS. (Instructor Doug Harrell, Fire Chief, Westside Volunteer FD)

Engine Operations: From Hydraulics to Hose Streams (16 hours CEUs for Instructor)

This 16-hour course encompasses the basics needed to be a proficient pump operator including “down and dirty” hydraulic calculations as well as practical application of the calculations to actual engine operations at a fire ground.  This course will include classroom and HOT training applying theory to practical pumping operations. (Instructor Wayne Watts, Fire Chief (ret), Panama City, FL)

Explosive Awareness and Recognition (NEW)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize first responders with various Explosives and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  Participants will be able to identify various components of an IED, have an understanding of what a bomb looks like, and will understand what safety precautions should be taken when dealing with explosives or IEDs. (Instructor: Captain Thomas Bosco, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations)


This is a 16-hour course that will discuss appropriate responses to chemical, mechanical and structural accidents and logistical, rescue and EMS problems that can occur in agribusiness and related environments.  Day 2 will include a trip to University of Florida Research Farm in Jay, FL to view different farm machinery.  (Instructor Murrell Liverman, Florida State Fire College)

Firefighting with Limited Resources (NEW) (8 hrs)

This 8 hour class will discuss issues such as fire control (exterior versus interior), conducting 360’s., mutual aid considerations, flow paths and ventilation control, and pre-planning. Water supply issues will also be discussed and tool usage (multi-use) and which tools can save time and be efficient. There will also be a discussion time to discuss issues faced in today’s emergency services. (Instructor Shayne Stewart)

Firefighter I Practical Skills Sign Off (Must have FF I Task Book 1st  signature prior to September 13th)

Under the new Florida FF I Certification Guidelines,  Firefighter I students must have an independent certified instructor sign off their skills for Firefighter I completionFirefighter I students who need their 2nd skills sign off, may attend the Practical Skills Task Book “sign off” on September 18 & 19, 2015. (Instructors Susan Schell, Pat Garvey, & Harold Pool)

Firefighter Water Rescue & Survival (Complete Bunker Gear and SCBA required)

This 4 hour program will consist of lecture and practical applications.  This introduction to the various water rescue disciplines takes the students through the basics of self preservation in the water and fire service application of the reach, throw, row, or go concepts.   Full PPE including SCBA is required along with a change of clothes, towels, etc. Gear should be cleaned prior to attendance. (If you have a second set of gear, please bring it.  Your gear will get very wet.) (Instructor Susan Schell, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training)

Fire Service Course Delivery  (40 hours CEUs for Inspector and Instructor)

The curriculum draws from many recognized authorities in exploring the methods and mechanics of imparting information and adult learning principles. The course emphasizes techniques which have wide application in teaching situations, as well as devices for specific areas. Also stressed are measuring teaching effectiveness, the use of media and visual aids. (Instructor Patrick Giacobbi, Bureau of Fire Standards and Training)

Hazardous Materials Operations (NEW)

Upon successful completion of this 16 hour course, the responder shall be capable of assessing the basic hazards and risks associated with incident response, determining appropriate protective measures, initiating defensive control operations for which they are properly equipped and providing support functions necessary for any subsequent offensive operations by technician level responders.  (Instructor TBD)

Incident Safety Officer (NEW)

This 45-hour course will cover both national and Florida specific information relating to an Incident Safety Officer. Topics include: The Safety Officer’s Role; Safety Concepts; Regulations, Codes, Laws, Standards and Procedures; Designing an ISO System; Professional Development; Reading Buildings, Smoke, Risk, Hazardous Energy, and Firefighters; Triggers, Traps and Working within ICS; Basic Approach to ISO Duties; ISO at Structure Fires, Wildland Fires, HazMat Incidents and Technical Rescues; and Post-incident Responsibilities. (Instructor TBD)

Swift Water and Flood Awareness (NEW)

This is a 4 hour awareness-level training itended to familiarize responders with teh challenges, procedures, and pontential risks of responding to and managing emergencies in and around fast moving and flood waters.  This course is will introduce the concepts of (1) Assessment of teh sceen and incident, (2) Basic hydrology, (3) Determination and ordering of necessary resources, (4) Activation procedures for rescue response, (5) Secene management and safety/ Proper PPE, and (6) Recognition of hazards. (Instructor: Justin Cook, Okaloosa County Dept of Public Safety)

Live Fire Evolutions (Class will start on Friday 9/15 at 6p CDT)  (For FF I Students Only.  Students are required to attend Friday night, Saturday and Sunday class to recieve credit.)

The students will participate in live fire evolutions.  The evolutions will consist of an exterior Class ‘A’ fire, vehicle fire, grade “room & content” fire and below grade “room & content” fire.  Upon completion of the four live burns, the Firefighter I candidate will have completed four of the six live burns required for Firefighter I certification.  (NFPA compliant Bunker Gear and SCBA are required) (Instructor Joel Richardson, Escambia Fire Rescue)

Lost Person Behavior (Sunday only) (8 hrs CEUs for Instructor)

The successful conclusion of a search for a lost person (missing hunter, Alzheimer’s patient,  lost child, etc) is a function of knowing both where and how to look. This 8 hour class focuses on determining where to look and suggests key initial action strategies. (Instructor Bart Walker, Marion County Fire Rescue)

Low-Angle Terrain Rescue (NEW) Students must bring boots for rough terrain,  helmet, and gloves appropriate for rope work.

You respond to the scene of a vehicle accident where the vehicle is over an embankment or short hill.  Or, you have a hiker that took a tumble and is in the woods.  Carrying a backboard up a slope is dangerous for both the rescuers and the patient.  What do you do?  The solution, a simple rope system.  In this day long course, students will learn how to set up a simple rope system to help bring a  packaging device up a slope.  Rope systems that assist in victim packaging and removal and providing assistance over rough terrain will be demonstrated and practiced.  (Instructors: Okaloosa County Light Technical Rescue)

Meth Lab/Grow Houses (NEW)

This 4-hour course will provide the first responder the latest information... (Instructor Matt Legler, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations)

NFA Leadership II for Fire and EMS: Strategies for Personal Success (NEW)

This two-day course provides the Company Officer (CO) with the basic leadership skills and tools needed to perform effectively in the fire service environment. The course addresses ethics, use and abuse of power at the CO level, creativity in the fire service environment, and management of the multiple roles of the CO. (Instructor: TBD)

PIO Awareness (G289) (NEW) Suggested prerequisites - IS100 and IS700

Public Information Officers in public safety and emregency management organizations are responsible for ensuring that the affected public receives accruate and timely information during an emergency.  Armend with good information, people are better able to make good decisions and, by doing so, contribute to the overall response goal of saving lives and protectiong property.  The purpose of this course is to orient the praticipants to the public information function and the role of the PIO in the public safety/emergency management environment.  Topics to be cover include role of the PIO, tools of the trade, working with the media, and creating public awareness campaigns.  (Instructor: FFCA PIO Section)

Prehospital Trauma Life Support (NEW)

Course description coming soon... (Instructor: TBD)

VCOS Beyond Hoses and Helmets (Eligible for Scholarship - Pending) (16 hrs CEUs for Instructor)

This 2 day workshop was developed to include material from US Fire Administration, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Volunteer Fire Council.  The program will discuss the following topics: problem-solving, marketing, recruitment, rentention, leadership, team building, training development, confilict resolution, principles of negotiations, and verbal communications. (Intructors TBD)

S-130/S-190/ L-180 (Preference given to FF I Students) (Eligible for Scholarship)

This is a 40-hour course that is designed to train firefighters in the basic fire behavior factors that will aid them in the safe and effective control of wildland fires, basic wildland firefighting training, and the human factors on the fireline. (Instructor Gary Holley, Florida Forest Service)

Smoke Reading 101 (4 hours CEUs for Instructor)

This 4 hour course that covers reading smoke conditions that assist with tactics, structural safety, and firefighter safety. The art of reading smoke will help you identify key aspects to hostile fire events like Backdraft, Flashover, smoke explosion, and rapid free burn.  This course is based on smoke reading material from Dave Dodson.  (Instructor Chris Brown, Captain, Ocean City-Wright Fire Control District)

Smoke Toxicity (CEUs applied for)

Have you ever complained of headaches, dizziness, or achiness after a structure fire?  How often do you see a fellow firefighter staggered around after a fire and not think twice about it?  How do you indentify a fellow brother or sister firefighter experiencing acout hydrogen cyanide toxicity?  Present day firefighters are no longer fighting the combustible fire that their forefather fought.  Unfortunately, the wheels of change in the fire service and emergency medical services that indentify, educate, and adapt to these new dangers are often overlooked till we retire and find a diminished quality of life!  Learn how to reverse the cycle TODAY!  Join us for this 4 hour course in taking a humorous, animated, thought provoking and life changing look at Fire and EMS's new enemy #1.  (Instructor Matthew Lopez, Regional EMS Coordinator HCA Hospitals)

Structural Collapse Awareness (NEW)

This 4-hour course meets NFPA 1670 and is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become familiar with established structural collapes procedures and planning within the State of Florida.  This is one of the required courses to upgrade from FFI (160 hr) to FFI (206 hr).  (Instructor: Okaloosa County Light Technical Rescue)

Florida State-Wide Emergency Response Plan (Saturday only) Required for Fire Officer I-IV

During this 8 hour course, students will be introduced to Florida's system, components, benefits, and how the system works. Students will also learn the components and processes for mutual aid as well as learn how to run a post incident analysis to assure that needed information is obtained and used to assist with future emergencies.  (Instructor Ralph Everage, Training Chief, Crestview Fire Department)

USDOT Traffic Incident Management Training (4 hours CEUs for Instructor)

This 4-hour training program focuses on a response effort that protects motorists and responders while minimizing the impact on traffic flow.  This training promotes a shared understanding of the requirements for safe, quick clearance at traffic incident scenes; prompt, reliable and open communications; and motorist and responder safeguards.  Topics covered include how the placement of response vehicles can either aid or impede another discipline's efforts, how traffic can be quickly restored, and preventing additional injuries by learning about human behavior. (Instructor: Jerry Johnson, Captain; Wakulla County Fire Rescue)

Vehicle Extrication (NFPA Compliant Bunker/Extrication Gear Required) (Sponsored byTurtle Plastics)

This 8 hour course will teach the student the basic techniques needed to perform vehicle extrication.  This course will consist of lecture on the basic techniques using hydraulic and hand tools and the hands-on application of these techniques. (Carl Hohenstien, South Walton Fire Department (Retired))

Water Tender/Rural Water Supply Operations

This 16-hour course will consist of classroom that will discuss driver safety, tender operations, proper set-up of a tender cycle using 1 and 2 drop tanks, power drafting, and proper staging of resources.  The hands on training will consist of single drop tank operations and then move into 2 tank operations leading to 250 GPM for 2 hours. (Instructor: Richard Darby)

When the Unexpected Happens (NEW) (4 hours)

Responders know what to expect when they are dispatched on a shooting or domestic call.  However, what should be done if you find a weapon while doing a survey of a patient, or  an unconscious patient wakes up and is violent.  What a first responder does when confronted with an unusual situation can determine the outcome.  A review of different situations will be conducted in terms of what actions the first responder can take using the equipment they have with them or in their surroundings.  (Instructors Harold Pool and Susan Schell)



   The Northwest Florida Volunteer Firefighter Weekend Council, Inc. admits students of any, race, color, and national or ethnic origin.