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))

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)

Building Contruction (NEW) (45 hours)

The curriculum in this portion of the Fire Prevention Inspection Certification Program deals with building construction. Topics include identifying hazards from assault by fire and gravity, how building construction can influence fire spread, fire confinement or structural collapse, and many other life safety issues. This is not a building course per se, but rather a course to identify construction features and their hazards under fire conditions. NOTE: This course may require work to be done prior to and /or following attendance at the course. Students will be notified prior to the class.  (Instructor TBD)

Chaplaincy (4-hrs) (NEW)

What are fire chaplains? What value do they bring to a department? What roles do they play? These and many other questions will be explored during this course. From theory to practice, participants will leave challenged and prepared to bring this valuable position to their departments. This course is open to current chaplains, as well as those considering involvement as a chaplain in the future.  This would also be the perfect opportunity for a department exploring the chaplaincy to find out what it is all about.  Instructor Joe LaCognata, Chaplain Marion County Fire Rescue)

Developing an Effective Behavioral Health Program (NEW)

This 4 hour class will allow personnel to evaluate their own departments' current behovioral health and emotional wellness culture and determine what steps need to be taken to start or develop a successful program.  Course objectives include indentifying signs of stress and associated issues, preparing themselves and their employees for traumatic events, and equip them and their personnel with the tools to prevent post traumatic stress.  (Instructor: Dustin Hawkins - Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative/Engineer, Indian River County Fire Rescue. Dustin's Bio)

Fire Service Hydraulics (NEW)

The 45-course curriculum covers relationship between flow and pressure and mathematical hydraulic formulas. Students must bring a simple calculator with square root function. Course includes pump theory, pump rating, and pressure and vacuum gauges.  NOTE: This course may require work to be done prior to and /or following attendance at the course. Students will be notified prior to the class.  (Instructor Daryl Coates)

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)

Firefighter Tactics and Strategy I (NEW)

The curriculum is designed to cover basic factors involved in coping with an emergency scene, and determining the best use of available resources in protecting lives and property. The course emphasizes the changing nature of an emergency situation, and the ways in which the fire officer can evaluate the effectiveness of his or her proposed Incident Action Plan. NOTE: This course may require work to be done prior to and /or following attendance at the course. Students will be notified prior to the class. IS700 completion is required as a prerequisite. Part of Fire Officer I. (Instructor TBD)

Electrical Safety (NEW)

This 4-hour course...

EMR/First Responder Refresher (NEW)

This 16-hour course...

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 Tim Busby, Holt VFD/Ret. 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)

First Due, What Line? (aka The Art of Weapon Selection) (NEW)

Applying water on the fire with the appropriate weapons makes all our problems go away. It’s the one thing we do at all fires, and we cannot afford to get it wrong to fulfill our promise to protect life and property. In today’s fire service, we are doing increasingly more with less. By having reduced staffing, we are losing the opportunity and skills to choose the proper weapon and make the proper stretch.   This 4-hour class will review system tests, our target flow rates (GPS), different types of nozzles and fire hose, reading smoke and matching the weapon to the conditions found on arrival. The citizens that you protect and the firefighters performing other tasks depend on you to pick the right weapon and place it into service quickly and efficiently. Are you up to the challenge? (Instructors: Chris Brown, District Chief Walton County Fire Rescue; Carl Hohenstein, Ret. South Walton Fire Department)

Firefighting with Limited Resources (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)

Hazardous Materials Refresher (NEW)

This 8-hour course...

Health Concerns for Today's Firefighters (NEW)

This 4-hour course...

Human Side of the Fire Service (4-hrs) (NEW)

You have the skills. You have the training. You have the experience. But is there something lacking in your preparation to do the job of a firefighter? Everything you do is done in the context of others. How well are you equipped to deal with the people you interact with day in and day out? This course will give you the opportunity to explore how to best care for the various people that you serve including victims, peers, your family and yourself.  (Instructor Joe LaCognata, Chaplain Marion County Fire Rescue)

Live Fire Evolutions (Class will start on Friday 9/14 at 6p CST)  (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  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 Fire Investigation for the First Responder (NEW)

This two-day course is designed specifically to provide a clear definition of the role of first responders in fire investigation and provide essential knowledge to enable them to recognize the potential of intentionally set fires, preservation and protection of evidence, and proper reporting of information to appropriate officials. By strengthening the partnership between first responders and investigators, the chances for successfully solving arson-related crimes will increase.  The course inculdes topics such as fire behavior, critical observations of the first responder, fire causes, scene secruity and evidence preservation, legal considerations, and documentation of findings.   (Instructor: TBD)

Prehospital Trauma Life Support

The PHTLS Provider course is designed to be an intensive 16 hour course for emergency medical responders, EMTs, Paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and physicians.  The course provides the prehospital care provider with specific knowledge and skills related to assessment and care, increasing teh probability of a victim surviving a traumatice event.  The course is scenario based, with lectures and interactive skills stations designe to impart knowledge and proficiency.  (Instructor: TBD)

VCOS Beyond Hoses and Helmets (Eligible for SAFER funded Scholarship) (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)

Solar Farm Safety (NEW)

This 4-hour course... (Instructor TBD)

Street Smart RIT (NEW)

This RIT course will define the proper techniques for different possible RIT operations on the fire ground.   Rapid Intervention Teams on the fire ground are essential for safety and must be unitized on every Fire Response.  Course will also focus on the safety of RIT teams themselves and knowing their limits.  At the end of this RIT course students will have an advanced knowledge of RIT techniques, as well as multiple untraditional techniques for unusual RIT operations possibilities.  (Instructor Devin Rogers, Lt. Northbay Fire Dept)

Structural Collapse Awareness

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 Shayne Steward, Captain Okaloosa Island, Ret.)

Vehicle Extrication/New Car Technology (NEW) (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. (Instructor Bud McMahon, TNT Rescue)

Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search (VEIS) (NEW)

This 4-hour course will define the proper techniques for different possible VEIS operations on the fire ground.   Vent, Enter, Isolate, and Search Teams on the fire ground should be considered another tool or tactic for Fire Responses. The course will also focus on the safety of VEIS teams themselves and knowing their limits.  At the end of this VEIS course students will have an advanced knowledge of VEIS techniques. (Instructor Jos Vargason, Captain Crestview Fire Dept.

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 (Retired))

When the Unexpected Happens  (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.